Student With Special Needs Force-Fed Hot Sauce, Lawsuit Claims
GLENDALE, Calif. — A lawsuit filed on behalf of a student with special needs is alleging that a former instructor poured hot sauce into his mouth after he was seen blowing bubbles with his mouth in class.
The alleged assault took place on Feb. 2, 2017 when the student, identified in the suit as N.M., attended Early Bird Preschool at the Pacific Education Center on West Lomita Avenue.
The 11-count complaint was filed earlier this month and accuses Annie Ghazarian, described as a teacher and behavior intervention assistant, of committing the reported assault. She is listed as a defendant along with the Glendale Unified School District.
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According to online records, Ghazarian left Glendale Unified sometime after the alleged incident and was hired by the Pasadena Unified School District in May 2017.
A representative for Glendale Unified said the district has not yet been served with the suit and declined to comment.
The lawsuit accuses the former teacher and the district of several offenses including negligence, battery and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It claims “Ghazarian forcibly poured hot sauce in N.M.’s mouth as punishment after she saw him blowing bubbles with his mouth.”
N.M. suffered “physical pain, mental suffering … and interference with his ability to participate in education” as a result of the punishment, the suit states.
It also claims Ghazarian intended to cause the student emotional distress and “acted with reckless disregard.”
The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
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