Teacher’s aide charged with kicking student in wheelchair

Classroom desks (WPRI)

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A teachers aide at Middletown high school is facing a simple assault or battery charge for what witnesses described as kicking a student.

According to documents from the Middletown police department, 44-year-old Stephanie Larocque is accused of kicking the student she was assigned to be a one on one aid for on November 28.

The student is a 16 year old boy. His mom told police he has cerebral palsy and is basically nonverbal.

Two witnesses, also teachers assistants at Middletown high, spoke with police about the incident giving similar reports.

They said the boy was pushing his own wheelchair down the hall and that Larocque was behind him. According to their witness statements in the police report, Larocque asked the boy to move faster but he didn’t because he either ignored Larocque or was unable to. That’s when they say she kicked the boys lower backside.

One described the kick as a tap that made the boy “jolt a bit”. The other told police Larocque did not kick the boy hard. According to the police report, after being struck the boy was visibly upset making noises and shaking.

Both of the witnesses also told police they are familiar with Larocque’s work attitude and that she recently has told them she was unhappy about being a one on one aid to the boy.

In the police report the detective wrote the following about what Larocque had to say about the kick.

“She said the kick was a threat and stated she shouldn’t have done it but maintained she did not make contact with him… I asked her again about kicking the victim and she stated she doesn’t remember if she made contact, but doesn’t think so.”

Eyewitness News tried to get in touch with Larocque, knocking on her door several times Saturday night. Lights were on, people were heard inside and curtains moved but no one answered.

Larocque is being charged with simple assault. According to these documents from police, the school has put her on investigative leave.