School worker quits after suspicious handprint left on autistic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School worker quits after suspicious handprint left on autistic child, questions remain

Posted: Updated:
Karah Ketchum Karah Ketchum
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Dollar General coming to Sycamore

    Dollar General coming to Sycamore

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:47 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:47:43 GMT
    A new Dollar General will be moving into downtown Sycamore within the next year on Highway 41.More >>
    A new Dollar General will be moving into downtown Sycamore within the next year on Highway 41.More >>
  • Speeders warned to slow down through Sycamore

    Speeders warned to slow down through Sycamore

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:43 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:43:13 GMT
    Sycamore city officials are warning drivers to slow down. Railroad Avenue is a main road through Sycamore and a residential area with children. Several complaints have been made to city officials about speeding and drivers ignoring stop signs on the roadway.More >>
    Sycamore city officials are warning drivers to slow down. Railroad Avenue is a main road through Sycamore and a residential area with children. Several complaints have been made to city officials about speeding and drivers ignoring stop signs on the roadway.More >>
  • Witnesses help Valdosta Police catch burglary suspect

    Witnesses help Valdosta Police catch burglary suspect

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:08:52 GMT
    57 year-old Sidney Allen Smith, of Florida, is behind bars in Lowndes County after burglarizing an abandoned Valdosta gas station, but he didn't get far thanks to help from witnesses.
    More >>
    57 year-old Sidney Allen Smith, of Florida, is behind bars in Lowndes County after burglarizing an abandoned Valdosta gas station, but he didn't get far thanks to help from witnesses.

    More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The mother of an autistic child said she believes there is more to a case where a suspicious handprint was left on her son.

Karah Ketchum found the mark on her 5 year-old son, Chandler, when picking him up from Sylvandale Elementary school.

She believes a school worker hit or grabbed him. She is also upset that no one was reprimanded and wants other parents to be aware.


"I was thinking, 'What happened?' Nobody told me anything. Did he fight with another kid? But obviously it was an adult-sized handprint so I knew something happened. But nobody told me anything," said Ketchum.

Her son Chandler is autistic.


"He's non-verbal. He talks, but he doesn't converse. So of course I asked him what happened, but he couldn't tell me what happened."

Ketchum showed pictures to Dougherty County school police after the May 9th incident. They launched a lengthy investigation.

"They went out to Sylvandale and spoke with the Pre-K director. She called and wanted us to have a meeting with all three adults involved, which no one admitted to it. I mean it's obvious something happened," said Ketchum.

Investigators say surveillance video shows Chandler got the mark at school and recommended the classroom and employees involved be monitored closely.

Ketchum asked for polygraph tests, but one of the workers quit instead of taking it. "Since she quit, they were done with the matter. Because she no longer works for them, it's handled. But I disagree because this wouldn't be on her record now, she didn't really get in trouble for it."

Now she wants parents to be aware.


"I really want parents, especially parents with special needs children who can't speak for themselves, to watch their children really closely, because it could happen to them, because it happened to my son," said Ketchum.

She hopes it never happens again, and said she thinks cameras should be in classrooms, especially for children who can't speak.

School police say the investigation was thorough. No one was available to speak on behalf of the school Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.