HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) – For the first time, during the trial of a Texas special education director, jurors got to see the only surveillance video showing part of her interaction with a Williamson County 17-year-old who is non-verbal and severely autistic.

The video shows the hallways of Hutto High School on Nov. 29, 2018 — specifically, the hallways between two of the special education classrooms where Hutto Independent School District special education director Dr. Stacie Koerth is accused of struggling to get the student into a blue, dickie’s jumpsuit. The jumpsuit, according to court documents, was meant to keep him from reaching into his pants.

The surveillance video has no audio, but it records as special education teachers, aides and students filtered back and forth through classrooms. Less than a minute of that video shows the student run out of a classroom with Karen Perez, another Hutto ISD employee who was arrested over the incident, draped over the students’ shoulders.

Despite laws in Texas that allow for schools to put surveillance cameras in contained special education classrooms, multiple witnesses testified there were no such cameras set up in the three special education classrooms at Hutto High School in Nov. 2018.

That means critical evidence in the trial of this Texas educator does not exist.

Since 2016, Texas parents have the right to request cameras be added to certain special education rooms. KXAN is reaching out to Hutto ISD to understand if cameras have been added to its special education classrooms.

Jurors heard from two of the people who saw parts of what happened firsthand. The state called up two witnesses Tuesday morning – a private nurse for a Hutto High School student who eventually reported the incident to child protective services and another special education teacher.

The private nurse, Lanjuan Patterson, said she only witnessed parts of the incident as she went into the other special education classrooms to get her things. Patterson said the student was screaming and trying to get away as Koerth attempted to keep him from taking off the jumpsuit.

“I remember a child that couldn’t say no,” Patterson said.

The former special education teacher, Amanda Feely, testified Tuesday that Dr. Koerth had supplied the jumpsuit as a potential solution to the student getting into his pants. Feely said when Dr. Koerth visited the high school on Nov. 29, she asked for a demonstration for how to put it on the student.

She described the multiple attempts to keep the jumpsuit on the student as “overwhelming” and said it left her “completely disgusted.” Feely said she went to her assistant principal immediately after – who told her to write up a statement on the incident.

The defense for Dr. Koerth said the incident on Nov. 29 was an attempt to modify a problematic behavior with a technique that had had been successfully used by Koerth with other students in the past. Attorneys for Koerth pointed out that none of the employees who witnessed the attempt called police that day.

The father of the student is expected to testify this week. Daniel Thompson, who spoke to KXAN in April about the case, said he plans to testify in defense of the educators facing assault charges.

“I do not believe they lost their tempers or anything like that. They were just trying to do what is best for [my son] and in my book, that makes them heroes and not criminals,” Thompson said.

After Dr. Koerth and Perez were charged in 2020, the Superintendent of Hutto High School said in a statement the district’s own investigation found Koerth and Perez used “unorthodox measures” but that they found the employees had not committed a crime or any misconduct worthy of suspension or termination.

“They are respected and admired by peers, students, and parents. Their records in education are stellar. While the tactic used by Dr. Koerth and Mrs. Perez was unconventional and regrettable, no actions were taken with ill intent” said Superintendent Dr. Estrada Thomas in 2020.

The principal of Hutto High School is also facing a charge related to failing to report the incident to child protective services within the 48 hours required under Texas law. According to an arrest affidavit, the incident was not reported to the Hutto ISD police department until Dec. 7, 2018 — more than a week later.

The principal is set to go to trial on that charge in June.