LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School Board is expected to vote on a settlement of nearly $10 million in a 2018 incident involving an autistic 6-year-old boy who was struck with a stick as punishment for taking off his shoes.
The $9,950,000 settlement on the Wednesday, Nov. 8, agenda, would be the largest individual settlement in the school district’s history, and possibly the second-highest total for any CCSD settlement.
The victim, a non-verbal boy named JJ Wahrer, was a student at Harmon Elementary School, in the southeast valley near Nellis Boulevard and Hacienda Avenue.
Melody Carter, the teacher who was accused of striking Wahrer, was initially charged with felony abuse. That charge was downgraded to disorderly conduct in July 2018. A judge dismissed the more severe charge because Carter completed anger management classes. According to a court document, Pro Tem Judge Holly Stoberski signed off on it, along with the Clark County District Attorney.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about your child when they’re at school. You entrust the school district with their safety,” Josh Wahrer, JJs father, said in 2018.
A classroom aide told police she saw Carter hit JJ about five times for taking his shoes off and only stopped after the last swing broke the stick. The aide said she recalled the teacher saying, “I have more of those.”
Police found bruises where the boy was struck.
A $5.45 million offer from CCSD appeared on the board’s agenda in March of this year, but the family’s attorneys had the option of rejecting it.
The case led to legislation allowing better monitoring of classrooms for special needs children.