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Dr. Drew

Driven by current events, "Dr. Drew" on HLN focuses on the human - and human behavior - at the center of the story.

Special-needs student records alleged verbal abuse

On Friday night, Dr. Drew examined a story about a special-needs girl allegedly badgered and verbally abused at her middle school – not by her classmates – but by her teachers.

The girl’s family said they went to school administrators, but officials reportedly called their daughter, Cheyanne, a liar. So, Cheyanne’s parents took matters into their own hands and sent her to school with a hidden recording device. What was revealed was heart breaking: Seven hours of verbal abuse that appears to belittle Cheyanne for her weight, intelligence and integrity.

In one recording, Cheyanne is told by someone later identified as a teacher, that she flunked a test before the teacher even looked at it.

Teacher: Tell me what you have. You haven't been paying attention to math class, have you? You know what, just keep it. You failed it. I know it. I don't need your test to grade. You failed it.

Cheyanne began coming home, complaining she didn't want to go to school, according to her father, Brion.

“She’d come home, and would say she was sick,” Brion explained. “The final straw – she was in the bathroom and sticking her finger down her throat to throw up to try to get us to think she was sick so she wouldn't have to go to school."

In an e-mail in April, Miami Trace Superintendent Dan Roberts wrote:

We found the young girl was lying. I carefully looked into the matter and found absolutely no truth of their accusations. It came to a point where I had to remind the man that his continued false accusations were bordering on slander and harassment.

“We reached out to the school district before filing suit,” Cheyanne’s attorney Brian Garvine said. “We sent them a detailed settlement demand that included that e-mail and a couple other attachments as well, and we had some specific excerpts from tapes. We laid the entire case out for them, and they completely ignored it. We heard nothing from them in response to that."

Later, Brion said: “It is hard to make sense of it. I'm still trying to make sense of it. [I'm] trying to figure out why we beat ourselves up every day, trying to figure out why they would do this. She is not a bad kid. She's a very good kid. Any of these kids, any special-needs kids – they're all special. And for this to happen is just outrageous."

Teacher's aide Kelly Chaffins has been terminated, but attorney Garvine says he has talked to the superintendent and was told that teacher Christie Wilt is on unpaid child care leave, and will be until the end of the year, under child care leave.

“We're shocked … that Christie Wilt is still employed,” Garvine said. “We can't figure out why they are supporting her. It is our understanding that there's a meeting November 22 with respect to what her status will be, and I also understand they moved that to the middle school because they're expecting a large crowd. So hopefully all this public pressure will cause the school district to do the right thing."

We reached out to the Miami Trace school district, but did not receive a response to the allegations.

The case has been settled, according to Cheyanne's other attorney Dan Mordarski. There will not be a trial.

Catch more from Dr. Drew weeknights at 9 p.m. ET on HLN and follow the show on Twitter @DrDrewHLN.

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