School abuse investigation expands in Redwood City

February 10, 2012 10:09:29 PM PST
In Redwood City, the investigation into charges of child abuse at a school is expanding. Eight more employees are now on leave after a teacher was charged with the abusing children.

"She says none of her conduct was child abuse, she adamantly denies these allegations," defense lawyer Steve Clark said. "She looks forward to her day in court. No supervisor has ever told her she was doing anything wrong."

Alexia Bogdis' lawyer says she is a respected and dedicated teacher, who cares for her students.

But the father of a 5-year-old autistic boy questioned that in an exclusive interview Tuesday with ABC7 News.

"She came behind him and kicked his chair forward and my son fell on the table and hurt his chest," the man, who preferred to remain anonymous, said.

Bogdis teaches in a special education pre-school class at Roosevelt Elementary School. Other employees, said by sources to be teacher's aides, have also been placed on administrative leave.

"Eight employees were placed on administrative leave so that we can conduct an independent internal investigation," Redwood City School District spokesperson Naomi Hunter said.

The child abuse reportedly happened in december and january.

"Things like slapping, kicking, shoving, wrist twisting," Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

Police say there are two victims. The boy whose father spoke to ABC7 and a 4-year-old boy.

The father gave ABC7 emails showing they complained about Bogdis years ago, once for depriving his son of food and water.

"His face was totally red and he was about to pass out and we just kept giving him water and milk to try and hydrate him," the father said.

Parents ABC7 spoke to were concerned.

"Unfortunately, our district didn't properly screen and they placed somebody in their program that shouldn't have been around children," "Christina" said.

Bogdis is charged with nine counts of child cruelty and battery.

If the other eight employees saw abuses and failed to report them, they would be violating state law and could be charge with misdemeanors punishable by six months in jail.


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