MALIBU—The parents of two autistic siblings were awarded a $45 million judgment after they filed a lawsuit claiming that their sons were physically abused at an elementary school in Malibu, as first reported by ABC7 News on Monday, October 24.
Charles and Nadine Wong, who are the parents of the twins, Christiaan and Christopher, said that although the two boys are non-verbal and were not able to report the abuse to their parents, there were still signs that they were being abused. The Wong’s told ABC7 that the two began acting aggressively towards them which was a behavior they never witnessed before.
“As a parent, you know something is wrong when your child is treating everyone differently,” Nadine Wong told the news source. “You know yourself and you look at your child and you say, ‘What has happened to you?’ But they can’t tell us.”
The lawsuit accused the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District of not taking any action when the Wongs’ sons were physically abused by employees at Malibu’s Juan Cabrillo Elementary School in 2017.
According to reports, it was a school bus driver who first reported the abuse to his supervisors. A teacher at the school made a secondary report. The lawsuit claims that the school district failed to report the abuse to authorities even after the school’s employees made the reports.
The reports did prompt the sheriff’s department to send officials to the Wong’s home for a wellness check and the parents learned there was possible abuse in the classroom.
The brothers were taken out of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and are now enrolled in a private school specifically for autistic children. The twins are now 12 years old. They were 8 years-old at the time they were abused.
Canyon News reached out to the SMMUSD for more information, but did not hear back before print.