CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—During Monday’s board meeting, the Kanawha County School Board released a statement regarding the alleged abuse of students at Horace Mann Middle school.

In May of 2021, a teacher and two aides were accused of battery of two special needs students in multiple civil complaints. Severe/profound teacher Anthony Wilson and his aides Walter Pannell and Lilliana Branham were named, along with the Kanawha County School, in two civil complaints filed by the guardians of the two students.

Both students are nonverbal and need assistance with basic daily activities. One of the students ended up needing to go to the emergency room due to injuries allegedly sustained a the hands of this teacher and the aides.

In Monday’s meeting, the Board said the following:

The Kanawha County Schools Board of Education members acknowledge the recent acts by individuals toward students at Horace Mann Middle School. We condemn these actions and we express our sincere empathy to the families of those students involved.

What is needed here is action and we are pleased to see that action was taken and continues to be taken by the district, who is working with law enforcement and who is also taking these actions very seriously. We thank the school administrators for their handling of the event and district administrators for working with law enforcement to bring justice for families.

In addition, we feel confident that the district is appropriately analyzing and adjusting to make sure that this type of action will again, if and when necessary, be swiftly acted upon and dealt with. We realize that part of justice may also be lobbying to have the special education camera law made stronger for our students. We will continue to support the district in its meaningful action to hold those responsible accountable.

Kanahwa County School Board