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Mother outraged by sentencing of abusive former teacher

Drew Karedes

Mother outraged by sentencing of abusive former teacher

CREATED Jul. 21, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -  She was convicted of taking out her anger on kids who couldn't speak for themselves. Four years after former special needs teacher Mamie Hubbard-Washington was convicted of the disturbing crimes, and a sentence has come down.

Hubbard-Washington will now spend 60 days in jail. She will also be on probation for up to three years on five counts of felony child abuse and neglect.

One mother, whose then 9-year-old autistic son was abused, says she is outraged over what she calls a "legal letdown".

"What a letdown. The justice system let me down, let my son down," said Marshell Mitchell. "It's a joke. To me, it's a big joke. All of this for 60 days."

Investigators said Hubbard-Washington grabbed her son Matthew by the back of the neck and rammed his face into a table-top, chipping his tooth.

Witnesses also said Hubbard-Washington used a wooden yardstick and a hairbrush to terrorize students.

Matthew was one of five autisitic students the former teacher was convicted of hurting between 2006 and 2007 inside Doris Reed Elementary.

"I have to look at my son's broken tooth in his mouth every day and think about how she slammed my baby's face into that table," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said she first noticed something was wrong when her son came home with a black eye. Only days later, he came home with a broken tooth, she said.

When her son refused to get out of the car and enter the classroom one morning, she knew something was up.

Mitchell pulled her son from Doris Reed Elementary, and it wasn't until about a year later that she found out about the allegations.

"You are an evil evil person, and you scarred my son for life. You scarred my son for life, and you got away with it," said Mitchell, directing her anger toward the convicted former teacher.

Mitchell says her trust in others has been permanently damaged, and she also believes her son will forever be affected by what happened.

Another parent, a father who claims his son flinches to this day, gave an emotional impact statment prior to Hubbard-Washington's sentencing on Thursday.

"Just this week, when I turned down the street toward Doris Reed Elementary, I had to stop my son from trying to leap out of a moving car," he said, as his wife wept in the courtroom.

A judge explained Hubbard-Washington's sentence, saying she has no criminal history and will never be allowed inside a classroom again.

Marshell Mitchell is one of a number of parents part of a civil case against the Clark County School District for allegedly not recognizing the abuse sooner. The suit has been pending in federal court.