LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District Police are claiming there was an attempt to cover up what they call “failings” at a Las Vegas elementary school.
According to a police report 8 News Now obtained, it began after a special education teacher was accused of child abuse.
Yet, authorities determined an effort was started to create paperwork to dismiss the teacher.
Kathryn Fitzgerald spent four years teaching at Edith Garehime Elementary School, but last year was placed on leave amid a police investigation.
Police determined that Fitzgerald did not do anything criminal, but did find suspicious activity from administrators.
Fitzgerald, who declined to speak on camera, was accused of abusing the nephew of Victoria Kabbush, the guardian of a 7-year-old with autism.
Kabbush said she had a hard time believing the allegations.
“She has been an amazing blessing in our life, and our child’s life. We don’t know where we would be without her,” she stated.
An aide at Garehime accused Fitzgerald of tackling Kabbush’s nephew last year. Police reviewed the surveillance video but did not find such an incident.
8 News Now showed the video to Kabbush.
“It was exactly what we thought, we knew it, our gut knew it,” Kabbush expressed. “She scooped him right up, and it was just exactly what he needed.”
The investigation into Fitzgerald started back in October for incidents that happened weeks prior.
When a teacher uses force on a special needs child, they have 24 hours to fill out and fax an “averse restraint form” per CCSD policy. It’s also known as a CCF-624.
According to police, that was never done in this instance and an aide told officers she thinks there needs to be more training.
Investigators interviewed the special education facilitator at Garehime Elementary, Starlyn Olson.
Olson stated she was directed to fill out the CCF-624 forms by Associate Superintendent Scarlett Perryman. She added that Perryman told her to complete and backdate those forms.
During the investigation, police found more than 30 such forms.
The investigating CCSD officer even stated in his report there appeared to be an “attempted cover-up of failings from the [Specialized Programs Teacher Assistant], to the Special Education Facilitator, through the Principal, and to the Region.”
CCSD Police’s report concluded that the “creation of documentation and some of the emails and conversations had are concerning, from a law enforcement perspective.”
The district suspended Fitzgerald but she has appealed it. CCSD confirmed that the principal at Garehime at the time, Ryan Lewis, was assigned to other duties.
While providing no details, the CCSD said it’s looking into 8 News Now’s inquiry on the police investigation.