A Long Island special education teacher accused of abusing five autistic middle school students who can't speak faced a final state education hearing to determine whether she would be fired.
Lisa Weitzman was fighting for her job more than two years after being suspended with pay from the Long Beach school district. She continues to draw her $96,000 annual salary, according to Newsday.
Authorities allege she locked children in a bathroom, threatened to restrain another with plastic ties, and physically and verbally threatened others over two and a half years.
But Weitzman's lawyer insisted she was simply doing what she thought best to protect the students.
Weitzman herself said nothing to reporters outside the hearing. News cameras were not allowed in to proceeding.
The hearing officer will now decide whether Weitzman will be fired. The decision could come later this year.
The alleged victims' families are also suing Weitzman and the Long Beach school district. Lawyer Gerard Misk said neither the children's parents nor law enforcement were ever told of Weitzman's alleged abuse.