Former teacher’s aide admits to mistreatment of special needs students

A former Clark County teacher’s aide accused of aggressively handling two special needs students in the classroom is expected to plead guilty to child neglect charges, a prosecutor said.

Lachelle James, who was arrested in March 2012 on five counts of child abuse and one count of battery, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday, according to court records.

Clark County prosecutor Lindsey Moors said James, also known as Lachelle or Michelle McCraney, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of child neglect at a June 30 hearing.

Clark County School District detectives used hidden cameras at Variety School to monitor James in a classroom after hearing allegations of abuse against children who were “non-verbal.”

She was seen on video dragging one boy, who is autistic, to the center of the room, pinning him to the ground with her knee in his back and elbow in his face, district officials said. She then shoved another boy in the back and pinned him against cabinets, according to a report from the district.

James told police the first student had attacked her.

The parents of that child have filed a federal lawsuit against the district and James, saying the abuse was monitored through a live Internet feed without a chance for witnesses to intervene in the abuse.

Officials have said that James is no longer employed with the district.

Contact reporter David Ferrara at 702-380-1039 or dferrara@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker.