90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Orange County mom says her autistic son was abused at local charter school


Play Audio

Photo: Pixabay


The family of a teenage boy on the autism spectrum is suing a local charter school alleging their child was physically abused by a teacher and behavioral therapist. 

Stephanie Cooper says she started to notice the bruises on her then 13-year-old son’s body starting in April 2021. 

But when she called Access Charter School, she was told her son had caused his own injuries. 

It wasn’t until this year that her son admitted that a teacher and a behavioral therapist were allegedly abusing and physically restraining him. 

Cooper is now suing Access Charter School. She says she’s frustrated as this charter school was her last hope.

“We moved here to put him in a special charter school. We were originally living in Tennessee and Tennessee didn’t have any programs. They wanted to put him in an institution before the age of five. Florida had all, supposedly all these great charter schools so we moved here.”

Cooper through her tears says she’s homeschooling her son now, and never intends on sending him back to any school. 

“It breaks my heart because I feel like I failed my child. And I failed to protect him.”

The Florida Department of Children and Families has opened an investigation into the complaint against the school. Neither DCF, the Florida Charter School Alliance or Access Charter School returned calls for this story.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

TOP