FL School District Covered Abuse Of Special Needs Child Over A Year

.jpg photo of Father and his Son who was abused
Eddie Perillo and his Son

School district addresses Child Abuse claims
in special news conference

OKALOOSA COUNTY, FL  –  Allegations of an Okaloosa County special needs teacher abusing a nonverbal child with autism has rocked the county.

On Monday, the school board will hold its regular meeting less than an hour after the superintendent holds a press conference.

The father of the child who was allegedly abused believes the school district tried to cover up signs of abuse.

Others in the community said it’s time for more oversight.

The saga began in 2015 at Kenwood Elementary School, when Eddie Perillo’s nonverbal autistic son moved into the classroom of Marlynn Stillions.

Eddie’s son spent more than a year in the teacher’s classroom.  At the same time, Eddie noticed changes to his son’s behavior.

“He became aggressive and he had aggressive behavior and just was acting a little different,” Perillo said.

It took until May of 2017 when Perillo was able to obtain a copy of a school district investigation, which accused Stillions of abusing the children in her care, for Perillo to learn about the alleged abuse.

He took the case to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and believes it goes all the way to the superintendent’s office.

“I believe she knew about it.  To be honest with you, that’s my thoughts on everything. and if she didn’t, which is very hard to believe, she definitely should’ve been aware of it and taken action,” Perillo said.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigated the claims and made three arrests, including the teacher, the principal of Kenwood Elementary and the school district’s investigator.

Other members of the autism community, like Angela Hager in Okaloosa County, said it’s a crossroad for the district.

Her autistic son spent almost two decades in Okaloosa County schools.

“I was shocked and very disturbed that not only those events happening, that there were so many witnesses that had seen these things happen and did not come forward until there was an employee intervention being conducted,” Hager said.

She’s on the agenda to speak at Monday night’s meeting.

“I think that there are things that can be done to fix this.  That’s what I want to see.  It’s not that I’ve lost all faith, it’s just that there are deficiencies that need to be addressed,” Hager said.

13 thoughts on “FL School District Covered Abuse Of Special Needs Child Over A Year”

    1. Yes Ma’am, I am quiet sure it does. One day I might just tell you of the time the high school coaches were putting the sleeper hold on the boys. But then, our boys were just football players.
      One would think this kind of thing went out with a certain 2 cities.
      Thank You so much!

      1. I’ve been trained in behavior modification, including physical restriction, so I am aware of “sleeper holds” and the rest. Thank G-d it’s not legal anymore, but still, there are people who don’t care about the law, let alone the kids!

      2. OK, you talked me into it….
        Toward the end of the 1980’s a friend of mine and myself was told by our sons that their high school football coaches had put “the sleeper” on some of the boys.
        Vern and I was at the field house the very next afternoon, not so long after lunch, and just walked right in(the 2 of us are in excess of 6′-6″ tall).
        We were met twice by midgets with muscles, with very, very, deep voices, and both pumping a dumbell( I can’t say it…. 🙂 🙂 :0 LOL).
        And twice we were told to check-in at the Principles Office. Finally, with all the boys looking on, and the 2 coaches very upset with the boys, we declared “The Principle didn’t put the boys in the sleeper”.
        It wasn’t long before about 6 coaches were in front of us, and we calmly stated that “NO ONE, puts their hands on any of these boys, much less the sleeper.” Yet not even a peep out of them coaches.
        SO, Vern and I told these”Coaches” that maybe we weren’t getting through to these mental-midgets, so we were going outside and the coaches could come outside and put the sleeper on us….
        No one came outside but the boys, many of whom were regulars at my house.
        On Wednesday, April 2, 2003 one of these fine boys that grew up to be Good Men, Scott Jamar, was killed when his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in central Iraq.

      3. Thank you so much for sharing the story, Robert! That was before the mandatory behavior mod training, and you guys did the absolutely right thing – I applaud you!
        I am so sorry to hear about the young man who was killed!

      4. Dolly, you are welcome!!!!
        We laugh about that still to this day
        I was always in-attendance where my boys were concerned.
        I hope all is good and well with you and your family.

      5. Dolly, I wish, but I had the girls on heightened security already, and I had to call out a guy that asked if I would help with his non-profit 2 to 2 1/2 years ago. He went off on a member of Our Circle who has a non-profit also, and talked really bad to her and about her.
        I covered fairly well, by telling him to retract everything, and I did not do it privately, although I did what was right. If you are on facebook, it’s about the 3rd to 5th post down on my page,
        Yes Ma’am, and you are very welcome.

  1. Autistic kids are easy to abuse, when they can’t speak up for themselves. It is terrible to hear, this happens in schools today.
    Autistic kids have other skills and are able to look right through other humans and see, if they are good and honest souls or not. They read us like an open book.
    When we know this, we can just hope, the kids will get the needed help in time to avoid even more bad challenges for them in the future.
    I have seen people working with autistic kids, who stopped this job, because the kids were very directly in their talking to those teachers or carers. They are able to read us and when they ask, fx. if we are sad and we lie to protect them against the adult world, they become sad too, because they know, that we are not telling the truth.

    1. Thank You so much Irene for your coming by and for your input, and, of course you are so right.
      This seems to be happening almost every day now.
      I knew you would be here, and Thank You, I feel better.

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