Families of seven Pennsylvania children with autism who were allegedly abused by their special education teacher will get $5 million in a legal settlement brokered late last week.

The students — who are all nonverbal — were tied to chairs with duct tape, stepped on, slapped and pulled by their hair, among other abuses, the families said in a federal lawsuit filed in 2006.

The suit named teacher Susan Comerford Wzorek as the perpetrator of the abuse and also held the Scranton-area school district where she taught, the contractor who employed her and a handful of education officials responsible.

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The incidents at hand involved children ages 5 to 11 and occurred between 2001 and 2003. Since then, Wzorek retired from teaching and entered a no-contest plea to criminal charges stemming from the allegations.

The settlement — considered the largest for a case of its kind in Pennsylvania history — comes as Congress is considering legislation to curb abusive restraint and seclusion practices used with children who have disabilities in the nation’s schools, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. To read more click here.