Families of Autistic Students Abused by Pennsylvania Teacher Reach $5M Settlement

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The families of seven autistic students who were abused by their teacher in a northeastern Pennsylvania classroom have agreed to a $5 million settlement of their federal lawsuit.

Lawyers say it's the largest settlement of its kind in state history and one of the five largest nationwide.

Authorities say former special education teacher Susan Wzorek of Clarks Summit subjected her elementary-age students to a range of abuse, alleging that she hit them, pulled their hair, stomped on their feet, and strapped them to chairs with duct tape and bungee cords.

Wzorek pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment and spent six weeks in prison in 2005.

The students' families sued Wzorek and her superiors, alleging they knew about the abuse but took steps to cover it up.