A special education teacher accused of abusing children at a Massachusetts elementary school appeared in court Monday on assault charges.
Tricia Rossman, 52, of Rockland, pleaded not guilty in Quincy District Court on two counts of assault and battery on a disabled person and one count of assault and battery on a disabled person causing injury.
The accusations stem from Rossman's work at the Kennedy Elementary School in Randolph where aides and parents claim she’s been abusive to special needs students.
"There are three different allegations involving students in her classroom, all of which have some sort of disability," said a court prosecutor.
Police were first informed of the accusations in January.
According to court documents obtained by the Patriot Ledger, staffers described Rossman's classroom as "toxic" and said she "manhandled" students, with one staffer saying she'd seen Rossman drag a child and believed Rossman hit that student in the face.
Rossman's attorney Peter Pasciucco dismissed the charges, blaming a disgruntled teacher's aide for the allegations after she allegedly couldn't do her job.
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"The investigation by the Randolph Police Department is wholly and woefully inadequate," said Pasciucco.
Parent Joan Batson claims her autistic son Eric is one of the victims.
"Just a lot of marks. There are no answers for them," said Batson outside of court. "I feel like she's the one responsible, definitely."
Batson said she believes her son suffered bruises at the hand of the defendant.
"Especially with all the people coming forward, it’s just ridiculous that they said would say it's not true," said Batson.
While Rossman remains on administrative leave from the school, the judge ordered her to stay away from the alleged victims and their families. She was also ordered to stay away from Randolph Public Schools.
She's due back in court April 29.