A public school paraprofessional on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was arrested this week on suspicion of sex abuse. Hany Abdalla’s arrest is the most recent in a disturbing trend of teacher abuses at inner city public schools.
Abdalla worked primarily in a special needs classroom at PS 84. Police alleged that he touched an 8-year-old girl in a sexual manner earlier this month, and later forced that same girl to touch his groin. The alleged child molester has been suspended without pay by the district pending the outcome of a criminal investigation that has already charged the accused with criminal sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Officials are still trying to determine whether or not Abdalla abused other students. He has been working at PS 84 since 2007, though no other accusations were leveled during that timeframe.
Shekeithra Foster, a parent of a student who was in school with Abdalla, said she is sick with worry over the arrest. “My son could’ve been in a classroom with this lunatic,” said Foster, according to the Daily Mail. “It makes you sick to your stomach to think about it. I’m scared. It’s a very sad situation.”
Seven New York City public school employees have been arrested for sex crimes since the beginning of 2012. Abdalla, who had no prior convictions or investigations on his record, will most likely become the eighth.