Former Manawa teacher charged with child abuse

This still frame taken from video provided by the School District of Manawa shows what prosecutors say is teacher David Bessette dragging a 13-year-old boy through a school hallway.

A former special education teacher is charged with abuse stemming from an incident in January with an autistic student.

And security camera footage from that day, has now been released.

The video shows the teacher dragging the student across the floor.

Months after the incident, David Bessette is now charged with child abuse.

The security camera video is from January 28th at the Little Wolf Junior-Senior High School. The student is blurred out, but the Manawa School District says David Bessette can be seen throughout.

Bessette told authorities he was trying to get the student back to class that afternoon. However, the student refused. Instead the boy was hanging from equipment in the weight room, then sat on the floor outside the school office.

Eventually you can see Bessette grab the student by his arms and drag the student across the floor for the first time.

At one point Bessette gets his hands wet in a water fountain, and appears to drop water on the boy. According to the criminal complaint, the student is known to have a severe aversion to getting his clothes wet. In the complaint, Bessette said he did not intend to get the boy wet, but said, the water got the student moving.

After that Bessette grabs the boy again and drags him father across the room, eventually over to the water fountain.

Finally the student runs away while taking his clothes off.

The complaint says the student is 13-years-old, but is non verbal and is at a first grade learning level.

The document quotes a fellow teacher saying of Bessette that the students like him, but that she would not trust him with her own child.

In response to the new charges, the Manawa School District released the same statement it did after firing Bessette in February.

It says, in part: "The safety of everyone affiliated with the District is a responsibility that the District takes very seriously...Rest assured there is no ongoing threat to staff and student safety."

RELATED | Teacher fired in Manawa for 'misconduct'

If convicted, Bessette faces up to 16 years in prison. He is due in court June 21.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off