A Hernando County mom says her 6-year-old daughter with Down syndrome was abused at school and she wasn’t told about it until days later.

  • Mother of Isabella, a 6-year-old student with Down syndrome, says school waited days to tell her about abuse complaints
  • Teachers allegedly pulled daughter by hair across the room
  • School and sheriff's office investigating complaints

Vanessa Mauk Doane’s daughter Isabella is a student at Moton Elementary in Brooksville. Isabella has Down syndrome and has difficulty communicating. So it came as shock when Doane learned some disturbing allegations against two of Isabella’s teachers this past weekend.

“Saturday, DCF came to my house to let us know that a complaint was filed on two teachers,” said Mark Doane. “Apparently, two teachers had pulled my daughter by her hair across the room. One at the beginning of the week, one at the end of the week."

Mark Doane said she wasn’t even told about it by the school until she showed up Monday.

“I asked her, well it's noon, why haven't I been notified yet?” said Mauk Doane. “She's like 'well I have your daughter's card on my desk. I’ve been meaning to call you but I’ve been busy so, I apologize.’"

The district wouldn’t comment but said they're conducting an investigation. The sheriff's office is also investigating, the district said.

But Mark Doane fears that because her daughter can’t speak for herself and that she doesn’t have any marks or bruises nothing will be done.

"I'd like to see them arrested or lose their jobs," she said. "They shouldn't be working with children clearly if they're going to batter a 6-year-old with Down syndrome."

So for now, Doane is just waiting and trying not to worry as she sends her daughter back to school.

Currently there are two separate investigations underway at Moton Elementary School. The district wouldn’t give any other details.