Coalgate high school employee resigns after allegedly abusing special needs student

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COALGATE, OK -- Officials say a Coalgate High School employee has resigned after she was charged with Aggravated Assault and Battery of a special needs student.

Karen Long, a paraprofessional at Coalgate High School, is no longer employed at Coalgate Public Schools after she allegedly verbally and physically abused a special needs student.

According to a court affidavit, former Coalgate Public Schools paraprofessional, Karen Louise Long, is accused of abusing a 17-year-old special needs student while employed at Coalgate High School.

The affidavit states the mother of the boy claims she noticed something was wrong when her son "became distant" and no longer wanted to attend school.

"The child's mother came to us saying that his paraprofessional was being mean to him and calling him names," said Coal County Sheriff, Bryan Jump.

The affidavit says 53-year-old Long allegedly called the boy several different curse words and also twisted his arm when it was "inside his book bag."

Witnesses also told investigators Long has lashed out against other students.

"There was a couple of other witnesses, other paraprofessionals, that stated they witnessed her blow up on different occasions.

News12 reached out to Long's attorney but were unable to contact him.

Coalgate Public Schools Superintendent, Jim Girten, tells News 12 that Long has put in her resignation and is no longer employed there.

We also spoke to a Coalgate parent of a special needs student, who says those employed at the schools should be aware of their behavior when dealing with all students.

"I would hope that they would have enough knowledge of themselves to pull themselves out of that situation and not put themselves with the special needs kids if they can't handle them," parent, Clinton Palmer, said.

Jump says if convicted of the Aggravated Assault and Battery charge, which is a felony, Long could receive up to five years in prison.

She is due in court on May 22nd.

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