Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 | 4:09 p.m.
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the child abuse convictions of a Clark County special education teacher who slapped her verbal autistic students, put one student’s head in a trash can and forced food into the mouth of another.
Mamie Hubbard-Washington, a former teacher at Doris Reed Elementary School, said there was insufficient evidence to support her five convictions of child abuse because the state failed to prove the children “suffered unjustified physical or mental injury.”
The court said evidence showed Hubbard-Washington in 2007 hit students with a yardstick. One student suffered a cut lip and a chipped tooth.
The court said Hubbard-Washington grabbed and dragged one student, who had food in his mouth, to the back of the classroom, “forced his head into a trash can, and yelled at him.” The boy spit out the food.
On another occasion in 2007, court documents noted, Hubbard-Washington forced food into the mouth of a student who didn’t want to eat and yelled at her.
The court said the parents of the children, who were 7 and 8 years old, noticed a change in behavior of the youngsters, who would cry, cower and protect their heads at the sound of loud noises at home.
The court ruled that the jury “could reasonably infer that Hubbard-Washington caused each of these five children to either physically or mentally suffer from child abuse and neglect.”
Hubbard-Washington was placed on probation for up to five years.