"I shouldn't have to find out from DCF that my daughter was allegedly battered at school," said an upset Vanessa Mauk-Doane.

She says finding out her 6-year-old daughter Isabella, who has Down syndrome, was allegedly abused by a teacher and a teacher's assistant on two occasions last week was horrifying.

"It's very heartbreaking to find out that somebody would do that especially a child with special needs," Mauk-Doane said.

Mauk-Doane says the Department of Children and Families came to her home this past Saturday to notify her of the investigation.

She was told another teacher reported seeing Isabella being dragged by her hair across the room twice at Moton Elementary School.

"I was distraught I wanted to cry I didn't know what to do," said Mauk-Doane.

Then on Monday Mauk-Doane says the sheriff's office came to her home to tell her there would likely be no charges filed.

10News WTSP wanted to know why but the Hernando School District and sheriff's office would only confirm there is an open investigation.

"Due to her being nonverbal, no bruising or marks," said Mauk-Doane.

So what steps are supposed to be taken when something like this happens?

The district says first the principal is supposed to notify the district's Professional Standards Department.

Then the principal should pull the teacher so they don't have contact with the student.

After that, they must call DCF, which then contacts the sheriff's office.

And finally the principal should call the child's parent.

In this case, the mom says that didn't happen.

"I was angry that I wasn't notified by the school," said Mauk-Doane.

Mauk-Doane says when she confronted the principal Monday she was told: "She planned on notifying me, but she got busy and she took full responsibility."


10News took her concerns to the school district, and was told : "DCF contacted the parents before she could be notified by the administrator."

We pushed the school district asking why the principal didn't act immediately, why the parents weren't called Friday before DCF showed up on Saturday. They have not answered that question.