Dear West Virginia State Superintendent,
I know you have heard about Berkeley Heights Elementary, but I have talked to the mamas.
On October 4th, Amber Pack, placed a recording device in her special need’s child’s hair and sent her to school.
That night, she heard, “I ought to backhand you right in the teeth,” Ms. Yurish scream at her child.
On October 5th, Amber’s husband contacted police who met with the principal of Berkeley Heights Elementary in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
By October 11th, Principal Amber Boeckman, Superintendent Manny Arvon, and Special Education Coordinator Karen Petrucci had all heard the recording.
They did nothing.
Three abusers remained in the classroom and no families were notified of the recording of their children being hit, cursed at and threatened.
On October 18, unaware of any abuse, Kacey Murphy had an IEP meeting regarding her son Owen. Petrucci, who knew of the abuse, told her that Owen was in the safest and best placement in the district.
On the recording, you can hear instructors tease and refuse to give Owen food. Instructor #1: “Growl at me. I dare you and you won’t get one. Go ahead. There is nothing says I have to give you a snack. Nothing.”
Instructor #2: “Looks like you get nothing Owen. Ha Ha.”
Tonight, there will be a special Board of Education meeting in Berkeley County regarding the resignation of the two aides.
Superintendent Arvon said when he learned of the incident in October and was “greatly concerned.”
“We all want this to be concluded. By the rules that I have to follow, it takes time. By the end of the day, you will see that we absolutely did the right thing.”
Can you help?
A Special Needs Mama
State Superintendent: firstname.lastname@example.org State Director of Exceptional Children: email@example.com Berkeley County School Board Members firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com michele.Barnes@ftr.com todd.Beckwith@cityholding.com Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org Vice Principal: email@example.com
County Superintendent: firstname.lastname@example.org