School Staffers Lock Starving Special Needs Student in Room Until He Eats his Own Feces

This week, a Texas teacher and two assistants were arrested for allegedly keeping a 5-year-old special needs student in a locked room last year.

Liberty ISD teacher Melody LaPointe, 47, and teaching assistants Tarah Tinney, 33, and Augusta Costlow, 27, reportedly deprived the boy of food to the point that he ate his own feces and drank his own urine. A Liberty ISD spokesperson told KTRK that Costlow and Tinney were placed on administrative leave following the April 2021 incident, and they resigned at the conclusion of the investigation.

According to the New York Post, the three women did not help the boy after he fell in the isolation room and injured himself.

LaPointe reportedly transferred to another school district following the incident. KTRK reported that she most recently worked for Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School in Goose Creek.

LaPointe was arrested in connection to this case on November 16. Even before her arrest, Lapointe was hired in another school district despite having an investigatory flag on her state teaching certificate, according to KTRK.

LaPointe, along with Tinney and Costlow, is charged with abandoning or endangering a child. Their bonds were set at $60,000 each.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.

[Featured image: Tarah Tinney, Augusta Costlow, and Melody LaPointe/Liberty County Sheriff’s Office]