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This Boy Was Being Starved To Death And His Teachers May Go To Jail. Here’s Why.

On August 11 last summer, a 12-year-old boy was found near railroad tracks in Galien Township, Michigan, a day after he was reported missing. He weighed only 47 pounds.

After being taken to a doctor because of his shocking condition, he was found to be dehydrated and bruised, with all his ribs showing. He had a cut lip and even had old cigarette burns on his body. His father and stepmother were the ones responsible for his condition, but prosecutors say that four staff members at the boy's school are also to blame because they failed to report child abuse for up to two years.

Aaron and Alicia Zemke were charged with child abuse, torture, and other felony charges before they pleaded no contest to first-degree child abuse. They were both sentenced to 20 to 80 years in prison. The child told authorities that they wouldn't let him eat, and that he ran away because he “was tired of being treated like a dog and he didn’t think he would reach his 13th birthday.”

Aaron and Alicia Zemke were charged with child abuse, torture, and other felony charges before they pleaded no contest to first-degree child abuse. They were both sentenced to 20 to 80 years in prison. The child <a href="http://woodtv.com/2017/05/26/prosecutor-school-staff-failed-to-report-starved-child-12/" target="_blank">told</a> authorities that they wouldn't let him eat, and that he ran away because he “was tired of being treated like a dog and he didn’t think he would reach his 13th birthday.”

Screenshot / Wood TV8

According to prosecutors, Three Oaks Elementary School principal Heidi Clark, special education teacher Diane Balling, teacher Sherrie Bender, and guidance counselor Matt Cook were all aware of the boy's physical condition and aggressive behavior toward food but did nothing.

According to prosecutors, Three Oaks Elementary School principal Heidi Clark, special education teacher Diane Balling, teacher Sherrie Bender, and guidance counselor Matt Cook were all aware of the boy's physical condition and aggressive behavior toward food but did nothing.

Screenshot / Wood TV8

Read More: Woman Arrested For Knowingly Letting Live-In Boyfriend Sexually Abuse 7-Year-Old

Now they're being charged with two counts of failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect in 2015 and 2016. Each count carries a maximum punishment of 93 days in jail.

Now they're being charged with two counts of failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect in 2015 and 2016. Each count carries a maximum punishment of 93 days in jail.

Screenshot / Wood TV8

For more information about this case, check out the video below.

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(via Wood TV8)

It's heartbreaking to imagine how alone this little boy felt when nobody would step up to help him escape his abusive situation. Share if you believe school workers should always look out for the best interests of the children in their care.

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