Northwest Florida

Grand Jury suggests superintendent investigation after alleged abuse by teacher

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) - - A Grand Jury has cleared a local school district of any criminal wrongdoing after accusations against a school teacher for abusing special needs children.

The allegations are against former Kenwood Elementary Special Education Teacher Marlynn Stillions.

"Everything from her throwing him to the ground, kneeing him in the side, spraying him in the face with vinegar," Parent Eddie Perillo said.

Perillo talked to News 5 about six weeks ago about this case involving his six-year-old autistic son, Noah.

"It's been such a huge coverup by the superintendent," he said.

The report states: "We are most concerned by the behavior of Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson. Despite repeated requests, Ms. Jackson chose not to appear before a Grand Jury."

Superintendent Jackson gave us a statement Thursday: 

"I wish to extend my sincere thanks to members of the Grand Jury and the Office of the State Attorney for their time spent on this report. As grand jury proceedings are secret in nature, I cannot comment on what testimony was or was not received. From the report, however, I do have concerns that the testimony presented may have been incomplete. Many, if not all, of the proposed policy and procedure changes requested have been implemented at this time, and our ongoing review of District policies and procedures will continue to address those topics.
It is disappointing that the report found my absence of such great concern. I have been, and remain, ready to discuss this matter in an official capacity.
As a community, we must continue to take every step necessary to protect our students, while providing our educators with the tools and training required to carry out their responsibilities. From these events, we will make the needed changes, but we must also begin to heal as a community."

The Grand Jury's report goes on to say because they're concerned by inconsistent statements she's made in public, the state attorney's office should continue to investigate Superintendent Jackson to determine if criminal charges should be filed against her. 

Here is the full report from the State Attorney's Office: 

Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida