Texas School Employee Claims She Was Fired for Reporting Child Abuse

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — A former school director for the Lake Hills Montessori school in Austin claims she was fired by the school’s owner, Sandra Karnstadt, in retaliation for reporting ongoing child abuse to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The lawsuit states Sharla Monroe had worked at the Austin school, located at 600 Cuernavaca Dr., since 2008. She was promoted to the school’s director in 2013, but early last year, Monroe began getting complaints that a newly-hired teacher was emotionally aggressive toward students and would lock them in bathroom alone for long periods of time.

Monroe claims she went to Karnstadt, who is accused of ignoring her concerns.

The lawsuit goes on to say, in April of 2016, the situation escalated and the new teacher was investigated internally for hitting a child. Monroe says she urged Karnstadt to report the abuse to state officials, but she refused. According to legal documents, Karnstadt kept quiet about the situation and did not notify parents, telling Monroe not to report the abuse.

Concerns about the new teacher continued to grow, and she was eventually fired in May of 2016, but Monroe later learned the teacher had abused and victimized other students at the Montessori school.

Court documents show Monroe initially kept quiet for fear of losing her job, but decided she needed to report the abuse to the Department of Family and Protective Services. The agency got involved and determined the Lake Hills Montessori school had violated the law by keeping quiet.

Days later, the lawsuit states Karnstadt fired Monroe. When Monroe asked for the reason, Karnstadt reportedly told her if she had not reported the teacher’s behavior to DFPS, she may “have found a way” to keep Monroe employed.

We have made phone calls to both the school and Karnstadt for a comment. At this time, we have not heard back.

 

Article from KXAN.com


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