Aide in student discipline case fired

The Nye County School District has fired a classroom aide who pleaded guilty to battering students at a Pahrump school.

Superintendent Rob Roberts on Wednesday said he sent a letter of termination last week to Phyllis DuShane, who pleaded guilty on Dec. 23 to a misdemeanor battery charge under a deal with prosecutors.

DuShane was one of three Floyd Elementary School staff members charged with felony child abuse after allegations surfaced that four disabled students between ages of 5 and 7 were disciplined with swats, flicks to the ear and pops to the mouth.

In one instance, a child was alleged to have been grabbed by the arm and forced to punch himself in the face. None of the children required medical attention.

DuShane was sentenced to 150 hours of community service under her plea deal.

Special-education teacher Sarah Hopkins and classroom aide Kathryn Cummings are scheduled for arraignment in Pahrump Justice Court on Jan. 31.

The school’s principal, Holly Lepisto, was charged with felony child abuse. She is accused of knowing about the physical discipline but failing to put a stop to it. She is set for arraignment on Feb. 1.

Lepisto, Hopkins and Cummings remain on paid suspension pending the outcome of their cases.

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