Parents Take Action After Viewing School Security Video

It’s a sad reality that often, those who speak up for what is right end up facing backlash and retaliation.

This was the case for Amanda Delzell, a special needs teacher in Iowa who was fired after blowing the whistle on a colleague who allegedly ignored a non-verbal autistic child’s self-harming behavior.

Delzell allegedly witnessed her colleague standing by as the seven-year-old student banged his head on concrete floors, causing him injury and distress. Despite repeatedly trying to raise concern about the safety of the child, Delzell was met with resistance from her supervisors, who claimed the matter was confidential and under investigation. It wasn’t until she took matters into her own hands and informed the child’s parents that they were made aware of the incident.

7-year-old Keaton Petek

The fact that the teacher in question remained employed while Delzell faced punishment for doing the right thing speaks volumes about the culture of accountability at that school. This lack of accountability not only puts children at risk but also creates an environment where employees are discouraged from speaking up, even when it comes to the well-being of vulnerable students.

But just as this story serves as a cautionary tale about the dire consequences of silence and neglect, it also showcases the power of individuals coming together to demand justice. At a school board meeting attended by 40 people last December, many showed their support for Delzell and urged the school district to take action against the allegedly negligent teacher. However, despite this show of solidarity, the decision was ultimately made to terminate Delzell’s employment.

This raises questions about the priorities of those in positions of power within the Urbandale school district. How did they deem it acceptable to fire a dedicated teacher who was committed to advocating for her students’ safety while simultaneously keeping on staff one who blatantly disregarded a child’s well-being? It’s concerning, to say the least.

The Petek family, whose child was at the center of this ordeal, has filed a civil rights complaint against the school, and rightfully so. This is not just an issue of one teacher’s misconduct but a failure by the entire institution to prioritize the safety and well-being of all students.

The Parents of Keaton Petek

“Leadership starts at the top,” Cody Petek said. “They have to be held accountable for what they have done and the way they’ve handled it. If they’ve done this to our kid, they’ll do it to others. And that’s what we’re after is making sure that never happens again.”