CINCINNATI — The parents of five physically and mentally disabled children have sued their former teacher, claiming she abused them for months and school officials did nothing to stop it and later tried to cover it up.
The parents in southwestern Ohio’s Warren County filed a federal civil rights lawsuit this past week against former teacher Amanda Kitcho. The lawsuit also names the current and former principals of Columbia Elementary School and the Kings Local School District’s board of education, saying the administration ignored repeated complaints about Kitcho from her co-workers.
The allegations detailed in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, are based on depositions of Columbia Elementary staff in January 2012 during an investigation by the district. The parents, whose children have limited-to-no speech abilities, didn’t learn of the allegations until July 2013 and only after a citizen activist named Kim Grant — now a Kings school board member — won a lawsuit to obtain copies of the depositions, according to the lawsuit.
Kitcho’s attorney, John Doll, said his client denies all the allegations.
“She’s a passionate, very good teacher,” Doll said. “She loved her children and treated them special just like they deserved, and she’s offended by the charges and will defend herself just like she has in the past.”
District Superintendent Valerie Browning declined to comment, citing advice from attorneys.
The parents are identified in the lawsuit with their initials only. The children are also identified in the lawsuit with only their initials.
The lawsuit accused Kitcho, 33, of abusing five students at Columbia Elementary from November 2010 to May 2011 and says she specifically targeted a then-11-year-old girl with several physical disorders that reduce muscle tone, motor skills and intellectual disability and limit life expectancy.