PITTSBURG -- Theresa Allen-Caulboy, the teacher charged with abusing special-education students at Antioch's Mno Grant Elementary School, accepted a plea agreement Friday in Contra Costa Superior Court during an emotional hearing attended by several parents of the children she mistreated.

Allen-Caulboy pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse and two misdemeanor charges. According to the terms of the agreement, Allen-Caulboy must serve six months in county jail (the first 45 days in custody, and the rest on electronic home detention), surrender her teaching credential and stay away from the school, students and aides with whom she worked.

Theresa Allen-Caulboy
Theresa Allen-Caulboy (Courtesy of Law Office of Hinton-Alfert)

In addition, Allen-Caulboy waived all rights to appeal and is responsible for any costs associated with the emotional distress she caused the students, some of whom are nonverbal.

"It was an early admission of guilt," said deputy district attorney Chad Mahalich. "It was for a felony conviction when she had no record before. She can't teach. She's getting anger management (as part of the agreement). Nothing's going to make it OK, but this was a good resolution to allow people to move on with their lives and heal."

Two parents who attended Friday's hearing in Pittsburg addressed the court after the agreement was made final. One, Megan Evans, described how Allen-Caulboy's abuse affected her autistic son Malik.


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"We have lost that lovable little boy," Evans said, dabbing at tears. "He is now so filled with hate and aggression toward those in his life. My little Malik is lost. I only hope that I can bring him back."

Defense attorney Elizabeth Grossman, speaking on behalf of Allen-Caulboy -- whose husband and daughter were present -- apologized to the parents and classroom aides, describing her client as a good teacher who was going through a bad time in her life.

In December, the Antioch Unified school board agreed to pay $8 million to the families of eight special-education students who had filed a lawsuit in federal court over Allen-Caulboy's actions and the failure of school administrators to properly report their suspicions of abuse.

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.