Fmr. special needs teacher to serve jail time

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 20:34:04-05

A former Port Huron special needs elementary school teacher learned her punishment Thursday after she admitted she physically abused students in her class.

Shirley Thoen was apologetic as she addressed the court before her sentencing which will include jail time.

“I never meant to hurt anybody or cause pain in any way,” said Thoen. “I am filled with anguish every waking hour.  I cannot stop thinking about my horrible crimes and I have lost countless nights of sleep as a result of this.”

The former teacher admitted she abused students at Thomas Edison Elementary. She was caught on camera dropping and kicking a child in the head twice.

According to police was also caught stepping on kids. One of her victim’s parents addressed the court with impact statements.

“When this day comes and they have been hurt or mistreated some people are able to work through their tragedies and mistrust,” said Lindsey Schneider. “My son Hudson does not have that luxury. He’s only 4 years old and is unable to communicate.”

“Since October, to the best of my recollection, Hudson did not want to go to school,” said Douglas Schneider. “When I drove him to school, I spent ten or 20 minutes just trying to get him into the car.”

Thoen told the court she has taught special needs students for 36 years. She called her actions were deplorable and said that she deserved a punishment, but the damage she did to these victims may never be repaired.

“I ended up with the horrible realization that i cannot protect my kids from people that will hurt them,” said Schneider. “The idea that they can be safe in school, I am left knowing that people can verbally, emotionally, even physically hurt my son and I quite possibly will never know because he can never tell me.”

Thoen was sentenced to 93 days in jail with 73 days suspended upon complete of probation and is never allow to be around children again