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Livermore: Family claims child with autism abused at school, still seeks answers 2 years later

School district, police and social workers investigated, but conclusions unclear

A Livermore family has been on a journey for more than two years trying to find out how mysterious burn marks ended up on their son's back in 2019.

Amanda Harrington and her husband, Corey, said that even after investigations were conducted by the Livermore Police Department, Alameda County Department of Social Services and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, they still do not know the cause of their child's injuries.

Harrington recently told the Weekly that the now 9-year-old has autism and limited speech, making it difficult for him to verbally articulate the details of what happened to him two years ago but the family believes that he must have been hurt on campus at Lawrence Elementary School.

She said that on the morning of March 1, 2019, she helped her son Radley, then 6, get dressed for school and there were no marks or burns on his body. Later that day, she received a message from his teacher that he had been complaining about his back; however, Harrington said she didn't initially think the issue was serious as he was not taken to see the school nurse.

At home that evening as she was helping him dress for bed, Harrington said Radley refused to take off his shirt, which was alarming to her. When she was finally able to remove his shirt, she saw the unusual markings on his back.

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She said that in the following days, she contacted the school to find out if there was an incident Radley was involved in. She also took him to his primary care doctor, who identified the marks as burns -- possibly created by a cigarette.

The school staff members did not have answers for where the burns came from but they told her that there were about 15 minutes that day when Radley was in a "sensory room" with an aide and not with his primary teacher, Harrington said.

Harrington said she took Radley to another doctor for a second opinion upon request after filing a report with police, and the second doctor also confirmed that the marks were burns.

Social workers questioned Harrington, her husband and their older son to determine if the injuries could have happened at home. In the report -- a copy of which was provided to the Weekly -- there were no definitive findings to determine whether the burns occurred at school or at home and investigators did not find that Radley was in immediate danger.

Harrington said that as of this week, the other two entities that conducted investigations -- LPD and LVJUSD -- still had yet to provide their reports to the family.

LVJUSD officials told the Weekly that "when the police department steps in to do an investigation, the district steps to the side," adding that the police met with district officials and the family to share the results of their investigation, which did not find any district employees responsible for Radley's injuries.

LPD officials said they could not comment on cases involving juvenile investigations due to confidentiality laws.

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Livermore: Family claims child with autism abused at school, still seeks answers 2 years later

School district, police and social workers investigated, but conclusions unclear

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 21, 2021, 3:43 pm

A Livermore family has been on a journey for more than two years trying to find out how mysterious burn marks ended up on their son's back in 2019.

Amanda Harrington and her husband, Corey, said that even after investigations were conducted by the Livermore Police Department, Alameda County Department of Social Services and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, they still do not know the cause of their child's injuries.

Harrington recently told the Weekly that the now 9-year-old has autism and limited speech, making it difficult for him to verbally articulate the details of what happened to him two years ago but the family believes that he must have been hurt on campus at Lawrence Elementary School.

She said that on the morning of March 1, 2019, she helped her son Radley, then 6, get dressed for school and there were no marks or burns on his body. Later that day, she received a message from his teacher that he had been complaining about his back; however, Harrington said she didn't initially think the issue was serious as he was not taken to see the school nurse.

At home that evening as she was helping him dress for bed, Harrington said Radley refused to take off his shirt, which was alarming to her. When she was finally able to remove his shirt, she saw the unusual markings on his back.

She said that in the following days, she contacted the school to find out if there was an incident Radley was involved in. She also took him to his primary care doctor, who identified the marks as burns -- possibly created by a cigarette.

The school staff members did not have answers for where the burns came from but they told her that there were about 15 minutes that day when Radley was in a "sensory room" with an aide and not with his primary teacher, Harrington said.

Harrington said she took Radley to another doctor for a second opinion upon request after filing a report with police, and the second doctor also confirmed that the marks were burns.

Social workers questioned Harrington, her husband and their older son to determine if the injuries could have happened at home. In the report -- a copy of which was provided to the Weekly -- there were no definitive findings to determine whether the burns occurred at school or at home and investigators did not find that Radley was in immediate danger.

Harrington said that as of this week, the other two entities that conducted investigations -- LPD and LVJUSD -- still had yet to provide their reports to the family.

LVJUSD officials told the Weekly that "when the police department steps in to do an investigation, the district steps to the side," adding that the police met with district officials and the family to share the results of their investigation, which did not find any district employees responsible for Radley's injuries.

LPD officials said they could not comment on cases involving juvenile investigations due to confidentiality laws.

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