Parents demand answers following Łı̨́ı̨́dĺ̨ı̨́ı̨́ Kų́ę́ Elementary School incident involving autistic child

Several (LKES) parents are baffled following the decision to allow a certain teacher back into the classroom. (Photo courtesy of Jerri Brenton)

A teacher is back in class this week following an investigation into the alleged assault of an autistic child from Łı̨́ı̨́dĺ̨ı̨́ı̨́ Kų́ę́ Elementary School (LKES).

A letter regarding the incident was sent to parents late last week notifying them of some of the changes they can expect in the academic year.

However, parents are feeling left in the dark and are calling for answers regarding the Dehcho Divisional Education Council (DDEC) and the Fort Simpson District Education Authority’s (DEA) decision to allow the teacher in question back into the school.

“There (is) still no clarity, no apologies or anything,” says Dylan Kakfwi, the father to eight-year-old Cashis. Cashis is a non-verbal autistic student attending (LKES).

The Kakfwi family has permitted CKLB to name the child to support this story.

“It’s not fair,” he says, “(for) them to go to school and see teachers reacting that way, it’s kind of frightening.”

Although the classroom security footage did not show Cashis being hit, Kakfwi says, you can see him being tossed to the floor and that same teacher hovering over him.

“I don’t want my kid to know that it’s right for a teacher to hit him.”

Kakfwi says sensitivity training and mental health support should be given to people caring for youth with learning disabilities to avoid an incident like this in the future.

The family has since asked for a copy of the security footage.

Jerri Brenton is a parent and close friend of the Kakfwi family.

Brenton organized a walk-out and even offered a space for youth and parents to gather at the recreation centre in the community on Monday.

“I just feel as a community we should be included in these decisions and we should have a say who we want in our kids’ school,” she says.

A poster several children designed in the wake of this issue. (Photo courtesy of Jerri Brenton)

“Just because they didn’t see it on the video doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” says Brenton. “This is a way to show the kids that we believe them.”

Brenton notes this isn’t the first time families have felt frustrated by the decisions made by the (DEA). Transparency is what parents want.

“I don’t want to send my kids to school because they might actually be subject to something like that,” says Brandon Buggins, another parent who has told CKLB that he is prepared to keep his two children home for the remainder of the week.

One of Buggin’s children actually saw what happened and says other children saw it too.

“I’m really hurting (with) what (the) elementary school is doing because they’re not listening to the parents.”

Superintendent for the (DDEC), Philippe Brulot, stated in an email to CKLB, “personnel matters are confidential,” and that he will not be responding further.

“Rest assured that our decisions are always made with preserving the well-being of our students in mind,” reads the letter, penned by Benjamin Adams, Principal at Łı̨́ı̨́dĺ̨ı̨́ı̨́ Kų́ę́ Elementary School.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108