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Atlanta Based Non profit “They Can’t Talk But We Can” heads up the “Justice For Aaron Hatcher” Movement

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 9th, 2014 - in Breaking News, EOTM News, News and Politics, World News

 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. — Carla B.

Click here to LIKE 'Justice For Aaron Hatcher' on Facebook

A new public service announcement detailing how Fulton County School Teachers, Melanie Pickens and Katherine Dorn Durden allegedly defiled and ultimately killed disabled youth, Aaron Hatcher.

Sign the petition to reverse the decision by Judge Henry Newkirk who granted" Immunity "In Good Faith" to Melenie Pickens, Fulton County School Teacher who abused special needs kids. - Click here to be redirected

The non profit organization, They Can’t Talk But We Can announced the news and is set to head up the movement.

The coalition, which is a humanitarian effort, put in place to create awareness on the maltreatment of disabled youths. Highlighting the unprecedented, purported wrongdoing of students, shedding light on some of the alleged misconduct which eventually led to Hatcher’s death.

SEE ALSO:Watch CBS 46 Atlanta tomorrow night as Ronald Hatcher discusses the maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools and the death of his son Aaron Hatcher

In 2012 the parents of Aaron, filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against the district and 15 Fulton County public school employees, claiming he died after a teacher physically abused him, WGCL-TV reports.

The parents, Ronald and Arthelia Hatcher, claim the teachers forced Aaron to wear a homemade neck brace to turn his head to face the classroom, according to Jarrod Oxendine, the family’s attorney. They believe the teachers actions led to their son’s death. last March. The Courthouse News Service details the lawsuit’s account of the alleged abuse, saying the brace constricted Aaron’s breathing:

“While in Mrs. Durden’s class, Aaron came home with bruises on his back and hands, making it clear that he was not being properly secured in his chair. Further, and without parental or medical consent, Mrs. Durden took it upon herself to twist and then constrain Aaron’s neck in a makeshift neck brace apparently because she did not like the way Aaron was forced to twist his neck in order to breathe. While a student in Mrs. Durden’s class, Aaron was repeatedly rushed to the hospital from school as a result of the abuse.”

Ronald Hatcher told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he even sought medical intervention to stop the teacher from restraining him with the brace — to no avail.

“I went to the doctor and got a letter to tell them to stop this,” Ronald Hatcher told AJC. “They would not listen to me. He would have to sit a certain way in order for him to breathe. Several times he would go to the hospital from school cold blue.”

The lawsuit also names Fulton County Schools,  Hopewell Middle School and Roswell High as a whole, noting — the teachers assaulted, battered, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Moreover, along with the homemade neck brace, the AJC reports that Perkins “passed gas” in Aarons face and overturned his wheelchair.

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Ealier this year, Fulton County Judge Henry Newkirk granted immunity to the teachers. According to reports Newkirk made his decision after hearing three days of testimony from people who witnessed Melanie Pickens’ behavior during her time at Hopewell Middle School in Milton.  Newkirk acknowledged the allegations, on their face, seemed horrible, but said Georgia law protected teachers who were disciplining students.

The news headways to August 2014 whereas the parents revealed the Public Service Announcement which will feature “Betty White Off Their Rockers” co-star Reatha Grey.

The organization plans on bringing awareness to children with disabilities that may have been abused in public and or private schools. The non profit is also working diligently to pass the Aaron Hatchers Law, which would mandate cameras to be installed in the classrooms of disabled youth in Georgia.

To support the movement please visit Change.org and sign the Aaron Hatchers Law.

Watch: Change.org/petitions/aaron-hatchers-law

‘Like’ Justice for Aaron Hatcher on Facebook

Stay connected >> Theycanttalkbutwecaninc.org

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Atlanta Judge grants immunity to teacher accused of abusing disabled youths – Sign petition to have ruling overturned


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Atlanta, Georgia — Fulton County Judge Henry Newkirk has granted immunity to Melanie Pickens, a former special education teacher accused of abusing students. Paul Howard, the District Attorney on the case has already filed an appeal.

Melanie Pickens

Newkirk acknowledged the allegations were horrible, but said the current Georgia law protects teachers who discipline students. “Ms. Pickens did act in good faith in carrying out her teaching duties for her students,” he said. Teachers are protected by state law because they need to be able to take appropriate disciplinary action without having to face potential lawsuits or criminal charges.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Hughes argued the immunity statute doesn’t apply to Pickens.  She gave the example of a south Georgia assistant principal flogging a student for truancy, per a school policy.  The student became injured because the paddle was warped, but the assistant principal was disciplining the student in good faith per policy.

SEE ALSO: Teacher immunity ruling sends wrong message in closely watched Fulton County case

“That’s what the statute is for, not for the egregious behavior of Ms. Pickens,” said Hughes.

Fulton County school paraprofessional Judy Massey testified on the behalf of the DA stating she found student Jake Marshall restrained in a special chair, covered in feces, after Pickens had ordered him isolated for “half the day” for disturbing the class.

When Massey confronted Pickens about what happened, she said Pickens said:  “Oh, don’t tell nobody.”

Massey previously pleaded the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination on the witness stand, but agreed to testify only after prosecutors announced they would not pursue criminal charges against her abuses.  On the stand, Massey admitted she isolated another student, Aaron Hatcher, but said it was because Pickens told her to do so.

SEE ALSO: Judge drops charges against teacher accused of abuse

In closing arguments, Pickens’ attorney B.J. Bernstein argued the good faithangle as well.

“These children experience extraordinary difficulties… but there have to be boundaries in place for the child’s safety and safety of other students,” he said.

The judge previously heard testimony alleging Pickens screamed in students’ ears and pushed them up against lockers, but Massey testified about another alleged abuse.

“He was laying on the bean bag,” she said of Marshall.  “She was sitting at her desk and he was making noise.  She tossed the camera and it hit him on the head.”

Massey said the impact left a “knot” on the boy’s head and that Pickens told her she would tell Marshall’s parents he had “hit his head on a bookshelf.”

After the hearing, Ronald Hatcher, the father of student, Aaron Hatcher who is now deceased called Georgia’s immunity statute “a loaded gun.”

“I want every parent out there, I want you all to stand, take a stand.  Don’t just drop your child off at a school, because if you drop your child off at a school, this is the end result,” he added.

SEE ALSO: Maltreatment of Disabled Children within Fulton County Schools

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard made a statement about his decision to appeal:

“We are deeply disappointed with the Judge’s decision to grant immunity to this defendant. However, we are not dismayed. Within minutes of his decision, we had drafted a notice of appeal, and, as of this writing, have already filed it with the Clerk’s office so it can be transmitted to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

It is interesting to note that prior to the presentation of evidence in this proceeding  (perhaps foreshadowing his ultimate decision) Judge Newkirk, sua sponte, informed courtroom observers, including the victims’ parents,  that he had previously granted immunity to a police officer accused of rape and that his decision was upheld.

Our hope is that once the case is reviewed, the Court of Appeals will give these children–defenseless, special needs students without a voice– the justice they deserve.”

According to multiple reports, Pickens’ alleged abuse dates back a decade.

The AJC and WSBTV contributed to this report.

The family of Aaron Hatcher recently created a petition to reverse the decision by Judge Henry Newkirk — please view, sign and share with your social networks. Georgia Court of Appeals to Reverse The Decision by Judge Henry Newkirk — click here.

 

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Cruelty To Disabled Youth Must STOP – Aaron Hatcher, Special Needs Student, Allegedly Died From Teacher’s Abuse

Aaron Hatcher, Special Needs Student, Allegedly Died From Teacher’s Forced Neck Brace (via http://eotmblog.com)

(Huffington Post) Parents of Aaron Hatcher, a former special needs student at Roswell High School in Atlanta, Ga., have filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against the district and 15 Fulton County public school employees, claiming their son died after a…

 

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Special Needs Teacher Indicted by Grand Jury over alleged abuse in Fulton County Schools

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UPDATED: 12/12/2012 @ 3:30 PM EST

The Fulton County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a former special needs teacher accused of abusing Alpharetta middle school students.

Melanie Pickens, 34, was indicted today, (Wednesday) on 11 counts of child cruelty and false imprisonment. Five Hopewell Middle School students including Aaron Hatcher who died, were abused from 2004-2007, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Other individuals involved in the case as well as cover-ups were not mentioned in the indictment.

According to a lawsuit, which names 24 defendants including the school district, the allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.USA TODAY

Ronald Hatcher, father of young Aaron, initiated ‘Occupy Fulton County DA’s Office’ which helped start the process with the Grand Jury.

Gerald E. Rose founder of New Order National Human Rights Organization helped organize the initiative.

The allegations were first reported by school officials to the Department of Family and Children Services in 2007. The case initially involved one student, but four other potential victims were discovered afterward.

Carla B. of EOTM Media reached out to Fulton County Schools today for a statement, Samantha Evans, Executive Director of Communications with the Fulton County School Districy had this to say:

“Fulton County Schools shares the community’s concerns regarding the indictment of Melanie Pickens. This alleged behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in this school system. The district has put processes into place to make sure behavior of this nature never happens again. We have been cooperative with the district attorney’s office from the beginning to assist with this case and feel confident that Ms. Pickens will be held accountable. We will continue to hold staff to a high standard to keep our students safe.”

Pickens has since resigned from her position.

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Fulton County DA Seeks Indictment on Teacher Melanie Pickens for Abuse of Disabled Youth

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According to a source close to family involved with a case dealing with the alleged maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools, District Attorney Paul Howard will seek an indictment against teacher Melanie Pickens on Wednesday.

Other individuals involved in the case as well as cover-ups, according to the source, will not be named.

According to a lawsuit, which names 24 defendants including the school district, the allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.

It’s been almost 1 year since Fulton county DA Paul Howard took over the case and many are upset it has taken this long for an arrest or firing for that matter, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Ronald Hatcher, father of a child that died allegedly at the hands of Melanie Pickens and Kathy Durham Durdan initiated ‘Occupy Fulton County DA’s Office’ which helped start the process with the Grand Jury.

Gerald E. Rose founder of New Order National Human Rights Organization helped organize the initiative.

 

 

RELATED NEWS:

 

Georgia House of Rep. Jan Jones to help Ronald Hatcher’s Initiative in Placing Security Cameras in special Ed Class RoomsWatch 

CBS 46 Atlanta tomorrow night as Ronald Hatcher discusses the maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools and the death of his son Aaron Hatcher.Check Your VIN Instantly - VinAudit.com

Occupy Fulton County DA’s Office: Paul Howard

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Watch CBS 46 Atlanta tomorrow night as Ronald Hatcher discusses the maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools and the death of his son Aaron Hatcher

Special needs teacher Katherine Dorn Durden still free to teach at Roswell High school despite allegations and overwhelming evidence that abuse by her led to young Hatcher’s death.

 

EPRLog (Press Release)Nov 13, 2012Ronald Hatcher and his wife Arthelia, filed a $10.5million lawsuit against Fulton county schools in early 2011 claiming teachers ‘repeatedly abused’ their 18-year-old special needs child which eventually led to his death.

Aaron Hatcher, who had muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, could not speak or walk. His father Ronald, from Atlanta, Georgia, claims Roswell High School teacher Katherine Dorn Durden forced the teen to wear a homemade neck brace, causing physical and mental suffering.

The father’s attorney, Trey Sauls, said the tightened brace obstructed Aaron’s breathing and contributed to his death.

The Courthouse News Service details (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/05/44396.htm) the lawsuit’s account of the alleged abuse.

‘[The teacher] fastened this neck brace not for any medical reason, but to force his neck in a position to look at her,’ Mr Sauls told WSBTV.com.

‘In turning his head in this position, it restricted his airway,’ he added. ‘In essence, it stopped him from breathing.’

Mr Hatcher said he notified school officials and the school board about the use of the unapproved neck brace but the teacher continued to force him to wear it.

‘I wanted it to stop. I even said in my email, “If you don’t stop this, he’s going to die.” They did nothing,’ he added.

Mr Hatcher said Aaron had breathing difficulties because of the restraint, which led to several emergency room trips. On March 19, after being released from hospital, the teen died at home.

 

Credit-CBS-Atlanta-Ronald-and-Arthelia-Hatche

According to the lawsuit, which names 24 defendants including the school district, Aaron also suffered abuse at Hopewell Middle School from 2005 to 2007. The allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.

It’s been almost 1 year since Fulton county DA Paul Howard took over the case and many are upset because there still has yet to be an arrest or firing for that matter, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Autism Speaks

Hatcher spoke with CBS Atlanta 46 anchor Jeff Chirico today and discussed the maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools, his son, the undeniable evidence and how his family is coping with young Aarons death.

The complete interview airs tomorrow night at 11pm EST on CBS Atlanta - channel 46.

CBS Atlanta 46

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Rahn Anthoni’s Late Night Talk Show Nears National Syndication Pickup

Rahn Anthoni’s new late night talk show digs a little deeper – EOTMTV.com

ATLANTA – It’s a hot August afternoon, but the air-conditioned set is cozily intimate. Rahn Anthoni is chatting with  his co-host Gerald E. Rose  and their first guest, actress Chrystale Wilson in a hot button discussion on social injustices and racial profiling.

Related News: Tyler Perry Racially Profiled

As the go-to expert for all things inspirational, music and lifestyle, Anthoni has wielded his voice (and BlackBerry) like a sword, ensuring that his fans get the unvarnished truth along with common sense, expertise and a healthy — always healthy — dose of knowledge, and for a little over five weeks he has done just.

The show boasts high numbers on the EOTM TV Network as well as YouTube,with almost 200,000 views the 1st week.

“That 1st show was the beginning of something bigger than me, bigger than all of us”, Anthoni recently shared in an interview. “If mainstream media will not talk about issues affecting our community, we have an obligation to. We need to let the pundits see that we do care about issues in our city’s and counties and we plan on standing and challenging anything that will negatively impact on our children,” he continued.

The Singer/TV host is part of a crowd of EOTM media hosts launching progressive talk shows this fall, which includes Carla B, Gerald E. Rose, Mocha D and her co-host Sweet T – the Sassy Diva, Malcolm Stalls & Pamela Stevenson.
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But the stakes are especially high for Anthoni, who’s looking to reinvent the wheel and impact local & national government after his young son Aaron Hatcher, was allegedly killed at the hands of teachers within the Fulton County, Schools in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anthoni is currently lobbying in Atlanta — hoping to create change and laws… that would stop the maltreatment of disabled youth.

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“I’m excited and nervous,” he says of his first project taped before a live studio audience, “but I’ve been told there is nothing like a father scorned after the loss of a child, I am doing this for my son Aaron and all others that need an ear — EOTM is their voice,” he continued.

The Rahn Anthoni Late Night Talk Show (Episode 1) with Chrystale Wilson –

 

The show airs Sundays at 10pm EST on EOTMTV.com. Check out the Rahn Anthoni Show now!

Follow Rahn Anthoni on Twitter @RahnAnthoni

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Latest Music News | Rahn Anthoni

Top Story

 

By Carla B., Los Angeles EOTM! Online Music Critic


There is a difference between Rahn Anthoni and the rest of the R&B contemporaries. No, it has nothing to do with him singing gospel in the past or even immersing himself in the techno scene internationally or his philanthropy work. It especially has nothing to do with the untimely passing of his son, Aaron Hatcher, or his new affiliations with Human Rights Organizations across the country. Rather, this 30 something entertainer is aggressively passing his peers and setting the internet ablaze, because of the fearlessness in everything he does.

As he demonstrated on last year’s spectacular album “Man on a Mission,” Anthoni is not afraid to adopt music choices outside of the R&B realm.

Meet Rahn Anthoni –

Rahn Anthoni - Credit: RahnAnthoni.net

In recent months, Rahn Anthoni’s career has taken a slight shift from gospel contemporary to more conventional soulful and pop ballads.

This multi-faceted recording artist, actor and philanthropist has without a doubt earned himself a spot in contemporary music history. Releasing multiple albums to date, selling thousands of albums worldwide.

In an industry known for a constantly revolving door of artists, Anthoni  has easily established himself with an enviable record of chart consistency, has toured successfully and  has collaborated with performers across every genre including Dottie Peoples, Tolga Katas, Stevie B, Musiq Soulchild, Shirley Murdock, Trinity and many more.

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His music has graced the Stellar Awards as well as the BET Gospel Celebration and has been nominated for a South Florida Music Award, Crunk for Christ Radio Holy Hip Hop and Rhythm & Praise Awards amongst others. He was also most recently submitted for a NAACP Image Award.

The genius of Rahn Anthoni rests in his willingness to break from traditional formula and constantly push the envelope. He flips the method of the moment with undeniable swagger and bold hip-hop sensibility.

If you’ve ever seen him in concert then you already know, his stage performances are unforgettable. Part of the reason Anthoni never appears to break a sweat is because, well, he really isn’t. He’s a frustratingly restrained vocalist, tending towards the legato, dragging each syllable out until it melts into the next one.

As a songwriter, Anthoni revisits simple, but profound aspects of the human experience – love, desire, joy and pain that define classical art and drama. He applies his concept to rich, full vocals that exude his intended effect which draws from the spirit of his musical forefathers, Curtis Mayfield and Donnie Hathaway.

But no matter what Anthoni’s mood is on a album, the songs sound fantastic. The production never smothers the singer’s sumptuous vocals, which spill over into pockets of air that the listener didn’t know could be filled.

“Rahn Anthoni is a genius with a heart of gold…and we’ve seen only the tip of the iceberg. For all that he has already achieved in his career, it is going to be fun watching where he goes from here,” Carla B. of EOTM Media said in a recent interview.

Stay connected to all things Rahn Anthoni on Twitter @Rahnanthoni for breaking music news, new photos and tour dates.

For more information on Rahn Anthoni, please visit his official website http://rahnanthoni.net/

To book Rahn Anthoni please contact Carla B. of EOTM Public Relations @ 213-290-3573 or email pr@eotmradio.com.

 

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Ronald Hatcher, Father of Aaron Hatcher, Special Needs Student That Allegedly Died From Teacher’s Forced Neck Brace Had Heart Attack

Published by EOTM News Editor on May 10th, 2012 - in Breaking News, Celebrity News, Health, Press Releases

Father of Aaron Hatcher, a former special needs student that allegedly died after teachers within the Fulton County public schools physically abused him, has had a heart attack. Ronald Hatcher also known as Singer Rahn Anthoni had a heart attack at his Atlanta home on May 8th and will undergo  heart surgery on Friday, May 11th  at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Hatcher and his wife have recently filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against the district and 15 Fulton County public school employees according to WGCL-TV.

Ronald Hatcher

In March the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported a Fulton County Schools internal investigation substantiating teachers had physically and verbally abused special needs students, including Aaron.
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District officials never told the Hatchers of the abuse, according to the lawsuit.

The allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.

Dr. Justiz a Cardiothoracic Surgeon will head the delicate heart surgery, “pulmonary thromboendarterectomy”, which removes the clots from the pulmonary arteries and restores blood flow. The surgery involves opening the chest and can take from four to 10 hours.

Family and friends close to Hatcher insist his current health condition stem from the stress of the lawsuit and the death of his son, Aaron. Teachers involved have yet to be arrested.

According to WebMD, stress left unmanaged can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats.

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Medical researchers aren’t sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.

If stress itself is a risk factor for heart disease, it could be because chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack.

Stress can be caused by a physical or emotional change, or a change in your environment that requires you to adjust or respond. Things that make you feel stressed are called “stressors.”

Stressors can be minor hassles, major lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Being able to identify stressors in your life and releasing the tension they cause are the keys to managing stress.

Below are some common stressors that can affect people at all stages of life.

  • Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend.
  • Death of a friend or loved one.
  • Problems in a personal relationship.
  • Work overload.
  • Starting a new job.
  • Unemployment.
  • Retirement.
  • Pregnancy.
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