Monroe teacher arrested, accused of abusing autistic students


MONROE, La. (The News Star) – (10/17/19) According to our partners at The News Star, a Monroe teacher stands accused of felony abuse of juveniles.

Melissa Brooks Lacomb, 49, of West Monroe, was arrested Wednesday. She was charged with two felony counts of cruelty to juveniles.

According to an arrest affidavit, Monroe Police Department responded to Madison James Foster Elementary on Oct. 4. Principal Jennifer Harris said Antiquel Harris, a paraprofessional, contacted her the night before and said she’s witnessed Lacomb inappropriately discipline two students.

One allegation was that she hit a 4-year-old student with autism on his right thigh with a ruler.

The second allegation is that she locked a 4-year-old male student with autism in a bathroom and closed the door for 30 minutes as a punishment. He was allegedly left alone and could be heard screaming and crying.

On Oct. 9, Antiquel Harris said in an interview with an MPD detective that she saw the event happen and tried to record it. She said she submitted a statement to the principal, who provided a copy of that statement for the investigation.

Melissa Brooks Lacomb
Melissa Lacomb (Photo Courtesy: OCC)

According to the school district guidelines, students with disabilities are exempt from corporal punishment

Melissa Brooks Lacomb’s bond is currently set at $7,500.

This investigation is ongoing and we will update this article as we receive more information.

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