Teacher Accused of Punching Special Education Student; Boy's Family Sues City

The family of a 10-year-old special education student is suing New York City for $10 million, alleging that a teacher accused the boy of cheating on a test, cursed at him and then punched him repeatedly during class last month.

The Cochran law firm announced it was filing the suit against the city and Department of Education on the family’s behalf Tuesday. The suit was filed about two weeks after Alexander Perry, a teacher at P.S. 118 in Queens, was arrested on assault, child endangerment and harassment charges for allegedly attacking the boy.

According to the Cochran Firm, Perry accused the boy of cheating on a test during class on Jan. 23. When the boy denied cheating, Perry allegedly began cursing at the boy and then punched him in the face and back.

A female teacher who was in the room pulled Perry, 36, off the child, the firm said. Perry then allegedly threatened the students and told them not to tell anyone outside the classroom what had happened.

The family is suing the city and DOE for personal injuries and psychological damage, the law firm said. 

“The Education Department did not take the proper steps in vetting Mr. Perry to see if he was fit to teach special-education students,” said Paul Weitz, a lawyer with the Cochran Firm. “As a result, the students, including the claimant, were put in danger by Mr. Perry’s cruel and brutal actions.”

It’s not clear if Perry was disciplined after the alleged attack or if he is back in a classroom.

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