Charlottesville City Schools closed Thursday as threat is investigated

Father says audio captures Henrico school aid abusing his daughter with autism

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HENRICO, Va. -- A Henrico father says he's fighting for his 8 -year-old daughter who has autism.  He's upset about an incident that he says never should have happened.

Britton Ellis says he believes his daughter, who told him that a teacher's aide hit her in class earlier this month. His eight-year-old daughter Presley attends Pemberton Elementary.

Ellis says he believes his daughter was verbally and physically assaulted.

He shared an audio recording with CBS 6 News, which he believes incriminates his daughters teacher's aide.

He alleges the woman  locked his daughter in the bathroom and hit her.

He explained that in the audio recording he was devastated to hear his daughter crying as the teacher's aide laughed.  Ellis also believes the audio confirms that his daughter was locked in a bathroom for several minutes and could be heard screaming to be let out of the room.

Ellis also tells CBS 6 he also has serious concerns about the way the school system handled his complaint.

A spokesperson with the school division told CBS 6 initially they investigated and found that the claims were unfounded.

Ellis says he questioned the school system about how officials  could have concluded an investigation of such a serious nature in less than 24 hours.

He believes the school system only took his claims seriously when he produced audio of the encounter between his daughter and her teachers aid.

Spokesperson Andy Jenks says they were not made aware of the audio until a few days ago. At that time he says they were only given a short clip of the audio and not the entire recording.

After that the teacher's aide was placed on paid administrative leave. Jenks says the school system still has yet to receive the entire audio clip that was recorded. He says officials there would like to obtain that so they can have a full picture of what happened that day.

Jenks says the school system notified Child Protective Services.

Henrico Police also tell CBS 6 News that they are investigating.

The father says at this time he continues to keep his daughter at home. He says she doesn't want to return to that school.

He says he anticipates sitting down in the very near future with school officials to see what the next step will be.

In the meantime supporters who have been rallying around Presley and her family have created a Justice for Presley Facebook page.

Stay with CBS 6 News for the latest developments in this story.


  • Ron Melancon

    Be careful because if you like the Facebook page the school system may (May) decide to ban us on school property. This father had and must have discussed this before he got the idea to hide the recording device because he knew the School System would dismiss it here is the quote “A spokesperson with the school division told CBS 6 initially they investigated and found that the claims were unfounded.”. So it’s amazing how things change when he has audio to prove . They dismiss our concerns like truspassing and stuff like this so who is going to be banned? Who is going to be fired? And is the school system looking at our Facebook pages? Instead of banning the Taxpayers who support the Schools how about addressing our concerns?

  • megan s spark (@megansspark)

    Paid leave. Am I reading that correctly? I hope the school knows this story has gone national, and parents across the nation are following. I hope the parents can feel the support of other families as they deal with the most unsavory sorts of people — those who you trust and let your child down.

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