Mooresville teacher shames special needs student on social media

A local teacher has 'voluntarily resigned' from her position at Mooresville Graded Schools Friday morning after she was suspended because of a rant she posted on Instagram shaming a student with special needs who was held back from a field trip.

"By law the school board cannot comment on any specific employee matters. However, it is important for parents and the community to understand that anytime a question arises regarding the conduct of a school employee specific to their job, the superintendent and school administrators work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for our students," Chief Communication Officer Tanae Sump-McLean said on Friday. 

In the video, sent in by a FOX 46 viewer, the teacher can be seen complaining about the inconvenience the student was causing. 
    
Disability advocates who saw the video say the child's civil rights could've been violated.

"This girl has not made a peep since we got into the classroom from the bus," the special education teacher says in the video. "We both get to sit here and stare at each other for the next three hours while the class is gone. Happy freaking Wednesday." 

The Mooresville School District says this never should have happened.

"My gut reaction was heartbreak," disability advocate Rina Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald says the video, to her, shows a lot more than a teacher complaining.

"Why was she as a teacher doing nothing? Why was she taking time to denigrate that child publicly and then public media? I'm aghast," Fitzgerald said. 

Fitzgerald's husband is a special needs educator outside the Mooresville School District. Even forgiving the video, he says that the teacher seemed to ignore the specific needs of the student.

"That teacher seemed like she was more interested in having a good time than serving that student's needs," William Fitzgerald said. 

The video caught the attention of several people who sent it to FOX 46. The Mooresville Blue Devils lanyard clearly seen in the video also caught the attention of the school district.

In a statement to FOX 46, the school district said in part "we do not and would never condone actions like what has occurred with the posting of this video; therefore, this teacher has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation."

The Fitzgerald's have a son who has down syndrome. He saw the video and he didn't like what he saw.

"I advocate for people with disabilities, and that teacher was not nice. She did not like her student and did not protect [their] dignity," William Fitzgerald Jr. told FOX 46.

The district would not confirm the teacher's identity.