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Family Seeks Answers After 7th Grader Alleges Teacher’s Aid Touched Her Inappropriately

ELK GROVE -- A 12-year-old girl said she felt violated after a teacher's aid allegedly touched her buttocks at an Elk Grove middle school and then asked her to step outside for speaking up about it.

“She said, 'Why are you yelling?'" Akaya Cooper said. "And I said, 'I'm not yelling, I'm trying to explain that I felt uncomfortable being touched like that.'"

Cooper is a 7th grader at Elizabeth Pinkerton Middle School. She said on Thursday she was in a classroom asking one of her friends to help her with her homework.

She said a female teacher's aid was trying to toss something into a trashcan, and that one of her fellow classmates laughed. She said that's when she told the teacher's aid, "Hi Miss" followed by her last name, but the aid thought she said something different.

"She said, 'I’m not Miss Dumb.' And I told her, 'I didn’t call you that,'" Cooper said. "And then after that she laughed and she slapped me on the butt two times."

Her mother Shanetta Coleman said that the school called her while she was at work, but never left a voicemail explaining the situation, and that she did not see the missed calls for an hour or so.

Once Coleman spoke with her daughter, she said she went directly to the school and had the principal go to the classroom to show her exactly what had allegedly occurred and where.

"You can’t get past hitting someone’s behind. You can’t get past that," Coleman said. "It doesn’t matter if it was a friendly gesture. Whatsoever. Her hands do not belong on any part of my daughter’s body."

FOX40 reached out to the Elk Grove Unified School District. They confirmed that they did in fact investigate an incident of possible misconduct at the school and temporarily took that teacher's aid out of the class while questioning her.

The district said it followed all the proper protocols but ultimately determined the student's claims were unsubstantiated.

“I asked the Vice Principal, 'Was there a reason why the paraeducator touched her?' and he could not explain that to me," Coleman said. "All he said was it was probably an accident."

But Akaya said it was intentional. She said there were two other students in the classroom at the time.

The district said there was another teacher's aid and a substitute teacher in the classroom at the time as well.

Coleman said she felt like her daughter was being dismissed.

"My daughter should have been comforted today and told it was going to be okay and told that she didn’t do anything wrong and I’m sorry," Coleman said.

The school district told FOX40 they would make sure that the teacher's aid and the student were never in the same room again.

Coleman is considering taking her daughter out of the school.