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A Young Boy's Story

Story provided by parent.

2008 through Present

Parent took her 6-year-old son (on the autism spectrum) to school around 9AM after taking him to the doctor for an earache. Parent walked him to his class and explained to two of the paras that he didn't feel well and had an ear infection. Parent also explained that she wasn't sure if he would make it all day or be able to attend a class party, but if there were any problems at all to call her. Parent called to check on her son at 11:30 and he was fine. At 12:11 the school called and asked parent to come right away.

When parent arrived at the school, the school police officer’s car was parked out front and she could hear her son screaming from outside. She got to the door that leads to the secretary’s desk, which is next to the window where another parent was signing her child out of school. There was a teacher at each arm of her child and the police officer at his feet. Parent walked in and picked up her child. His teacher went to get his things from his class and parent and child met her down the hall. The boy was holding his back crying and his teacher said "Well he did have some red spots on his back".

Parent returned home with her son, questioning him for information. She asked what happened and why he got so mad. The boy said they were being mean, and when asked who, he replied that it was the teachers. Parent asked for clarification and her son stated that he was made me set outside and he was cold. When asked who was outside with him, he replied nobody. With further questioning it became clear he was made to sit outside of the classroom trailer by the door, alone, for a “time out”. Because he was cold, the boy asked for his coat and they wouldn't let him have it

When parent and son arrive home, she looks at his back only to discover that he has carpet burns. Both parents decide to take the child to the emergency room to make sure there are no serious injuries. Parent contacted the Department of Children’s services and parent and child met with representative at the local office. The investigator left a message for the superintendent--the school chose to conduct its own investigation and Children’s Services is not doing a report.

A couple weeks prior to this the boy was restrained because he was hungry, and when parent went to pick up child he kept holding his neck. He had a red ring around his neck where he said they had been pulling on his hoody.

This family has have been struggling with this since the beginning of the child’s kindergarten year—parent has not seen a functional behavioral assessment although the school says one has been in the works. He was restrained all of the time and parent had to pick him up half way through the day almost every day. The last six weeks of his Kindergarten year, the boy was home bound and a teacher came to the house THREE hours a week. During that time the parent got the medication evaluation that the school had requested and hoped that he child could attend summer school; however, they wouldn't allow him to. The family started this year out hoping for a better year but thus far it hasn't been.

At the beginning of the school year parent requested a copy of his behavior record from last year and the beginning of this one, and there were only two things in his record from last year even though he was homebound. Although parent had been called to the school nearly everyday the first two weeks of school only one thing had been documented. A note from the teacher reads that the child had two tantrums after not complying with directions and was restrained both times for 45 minutes each instance. That same afternoon the note reads that the child had to be held/restrained in a chair because he kept tearing his spelling work that they were doing. After completing his spelling he lay down and slept about an hour. The student has an individualized education plan, but there is noncompliance.

Updated: Parent was requested to sign a blanket consent to allow anyone to restrain her child. SHe did not sign. The child is continuing to be restrained weekly, if not daily, for noncompliance issues. Parent has walked in on child being restrained face down on floor with large teacher laying on top of him.


Debbi Scotten said...

This can't be happening in EVERY school district!!! Parents should be made aware of WHERE this IS happening!

Ange said...

I allow parents to share their story anonymously since there is often a big fear of retaliation. Many are even afraid to say the district name. This parent has gone public as of last week. More info here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10560-Special-Needs-Kids-Examiner~y2010m2d24-Dallas-Obanion-Williams-autistic-child-facing-felony-assault-charges-following-physical-restrain