RESTRAINT & SECLUSION
Torture, according to the United
Nations Convention Against Torture, is...any act by which severe pain or
suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a
person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person,
information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person
has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or
coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of
any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation
of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person
acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering
arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.
Sandy Strassman-Alperstein, Deidre Hammon,
Jackie Igafo-Te’o, Shari Krishnan, and Calvin and Tricia Luker, along with
self advocates Benji Alperstein, Daniel Alperstein, Brianna Hammon, Michael
Igafo-Te’o, and Nicholas Krishnan
Schools Regularly Restrain, Seclude
Students With Behavioral Issues
Inclusion, positive reinforcement, and individual attention can prevent
disruptive behavior in students. Physical restraint and seclusion are
ineffective tools for managing students with developmental and behavioral
disorders, experts say. But both approaches are used regularly at U.S.
schools. During the 2009-2010 school year, there were nearly 39,000
incidents of restraint and more than 25,000 cases of seclusion at the K-12
level, according to a March 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Education.
Seclusion typically involves locking a student in an isolated room, while
restraint can include physically holding a student, subduing them with
medication, or using devices such as wraps, cuffs, or helmets to inhibit
their movement, Daniel Crimmins, director of the Center for Leadership in
Disability at Georgia State University, said at a Senate committee hearing
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds
Senate Hearing to Reduce Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools; Backward
Practices Have Disproportionate Impact on Students with Disabilities and
Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on
Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in conjunction with
the recent Senate HELP Committee hearing on the use of restraint and
seclusion of students: “I applaud Senator Harkin for his efforts to limit
the use of barbaric and coercive punishments in our nation’s public schools.
The recent hearing highlighted the alarming rate at which students are being
strapped down or excluded from their peers. During the 2009-2010 school year
alone, there were 39,000 recorded incidents of physical, mechanical, or
chemical restraint. These practices are harmful for all children. The civil
rights community is especially troubled that students with disabilities and
minorities are disproportionately subjected to these obsolete methods of
working with youth. Students with disabilities account for 70 percent of
those who have been restrained, while African-American and Latino students
are restrained at twice the rate of their classmates. In addition,
ineffective seclusion and restraint practices also help perpetuate the
school–to-prison pipeline. They must be stopped. Our schools should promote
learning and personal growth, not create fear and distrust of authority.”
Breaking News: GAO Issues Report on School Bullying
GAO issues report on school bullying, esp. of vulnerable groups such as
special education students! Thanks to Jim Gerl and his Special Education Law
Blog for links to summary and actual 64-page report!
- Parents Sue School for Putting Kindergarten Daughter Into Dark Seclusion
Harkin Welcomes Administration Directions
to Help Reduce Seclusion and Restraint
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the
announcement by Education Secretary Arne Duncan of a new resource document
aimed at reducing the use of seclusion and restraint practices in schools.
11-year-old Special Needs Student Arrested
An 11-year-old special needs student is arrested, accused of assaulting
teachers. Buffie Veselka says her son, Manny Hutchinson sat in the Juvenile
Detention Center downtown for three hours before she was even contacted. "He
can't say his a-b-c's, he can't tie his shoes," said Veselka. "Never ever in
my wildest dreams did I imagine that the administrators for his school would
press felony charges against him." Hutchinson is a special needs student,
charged with assaulting his teachers. "My son is legally mentally
handicapped. He has epilepsy."
Abuse and Disability: Why Can’t We Slow the
Traffic at This Intersection?
The intersection of the 101 and 405 freeways in Los Angeles is one of the
busiest in the world. Traffic never lets up in any direction. In search of
relief the city h as expanded the freeway, increased access on secondary
roads around this intersection, widened the freeway and created carpool
lanes. The congestion continues at all hours, every day. There’s another
intersection that is similar in nature. It’s the place where abuse meets
disability and if you have a disability, you cross at your own risk.
New York -
Restrained Boy at Leake and Watts in Yonkers Dies
Columbus School District Sued Over Accusations of Locking Disabled Students
in Padded Rooms
The independent state agency that advocates for the rights of disabled
people is suing the Columbus public schools over the use of “seclusion
rooms,” which are secured rooms often used to isolate special needs
Parents Blame School for Son's Death
Parents claim two special education teachers assaulted and battered their
disabled son so badly he died from the abuse. Ronald and Arthalia Hatcher
sued the Fulton County School District, the Fulton County School Board,
Fulton County Superintendent Robert Avossa, special education teachers
Melanie Pickens and Katherine Dorn Durden, and 15 other Fulton County public
school employees, in Fulton County State Court. The Hatchers say their son
Aaron, a special-needs student, suffered abuse at the hands of his public
schoolteachers, Pickens and Durden.
California - A Parent's Total Nightmare
parents of two boys alleged to have been abused by a Redwood City special
education teacher are expressing frustration over lack of information and
the subsequent difficulty in offering the correct support for their children
to recover, according to the parents and their attorneys. Alexia Aliki
Bogdis, 43, of Millbrae is charged with five counts of child cruelty and
four counts of battery on school grounds — charges to which she pleaded not
guilty this week. The victims in the criminal case are two autistic boys who
were in Bogdis’ special education class at Roosevelt Elementary School.
Texas - Deer
Park Teacher Disciplines Autistic Student with Spray Bottle
It is a shocking allegation. The most vulnerable students on a Deer Park ISD
campus were verbally and physically mistreated by the very people most
responsible for protecting them. "All they know is to trust. That's all they
know, that's all they know," said Sheri Graham, mother of a son with special
Family Accuses Bus Driver of Assaulting Autistic Son
The Fulton County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating an alleged assault
inside a Rochester Community School bus. Unlike most bus abuse incidents,
this case claims a district bus driver handled a six-year-old autistic boy
inappropriately. And the entire ordeal was caught on tape.
New York - Mom
Says Teacher Sent Her 10-year-old Autistic Son into Cardboard Box; School
Removes Instructor From Classroom, Pending Investigation
An infuriated southern California mom is claiming a fourth grade teacher
unfairly persecuted her autistic son by sending the 10-year-old to sit
inside a large cardboard box at the back of her mainstream class. Mom Kim
Rollins told the Daily News she recently learned about the TV-sized
enclosure when her son Sage asked for a pair of scissors and some markers to
“decorate his box.”
Teacher Accused of Using Hot Sauce to
Discipline Students Under Fire Again
WFTV read through dozens of pages of a personnel file belonging to a
troubled Osceola County teacher and found out she has a history of bad
behavior. Lillian Gomez was suspended without pay in early February, accused
of pouring hot sauce on crayons to discipline autistic students at Sunrise
Elementary in Kissimmee.
Lawmakers Shelf Bill Banning 'Scream Rooms'
A proposed bill to ban so-called “scream rooms” in the state will not be
brought up this year, according to the co-chairman of the legislature’s
Lillian Gomez, Teacher, Accused Of Using
Hot Sauce To Punish Special Needs Students
Abuse of Fulton students with special needs continues to shock
An administrative court decision represents quite a victory for a Fulton
family and quite a condemnation of Fulton County schools. The details of
this saga continue to shock – a middle school teacher mistreated and abused
a student with cerebral palsy.
- When Teachers are Bullies
We all know bullying is a problem in schools, but from a teacher? It sounds
crazy, but teacher-bullies have recently been in the news quite a bit.
Bullying students is awful enough, but in two of these cases the harassment
was directed toward high school special education students. A special
education teacher bullying students. Wow. Just…wow.
Kentucky - School Accused of Putting
Autistic Student in Bag
A 9-year-old autistic boy who misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel
bag and the drawstring pulled tight, according to his mother, who said she
found him wiggling inside as a teacher's aide stood by.
Massachusetts - Aide Faced Previous
Molestation Allegation; Principal Never Reported Incident
Boston school officials failed to report a prior molestation allegation
involving a teacher’s aide now accused of a lewd act involving an autistic
student, the Herald has learned.
Kentucky - Student
Teacher Charged After Allegedly Assaulting Special Needs Student
A former DuPont Manual High School Student faced a judge Wednesday on
charges stemming from an alleged assault on a special needs student.
Charged With Abusing Special Needs Student
A Lake City High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave
after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a special needs student.
Capt. Mike Nunn, spokesman for the Florence County Sheriff's Office, said
deputies arrested Anthony Marichial Cameron, 43, of Lake City and charged
him with one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult.
California - 5-Year-Old
Student, Forcibly Had Legs And Feet Bound, Arrested At School (VIDEO)
What started as an attempt by the Rio Calaveras Elementary in Stockton,
Calif. to change the behavior of a student with ADHD, turned into a source
of outrage for the boy's mother, KCRA reports. Earlier this year, school
officials arranged for 5-year-old Michael Davis to meet with a school police
officer in the hopes that the gathering would leave the
sometimes-too-aggressive Davis "scared straight."
New Mexico - Suit Filed
After NM Teen Cuffed For Burp in Class
A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for
burping in class, according to a lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque school
principal, a teacher and school police officer.
Teachers Caught on Tape Bullying
Parents sent her to school wearing hidden recording device: ‘We were
shocked’. The parents of special needs student Cheyanne, 14, caught her
teachers’ verbal abuse on tape. The family talks to TODAY and reveals
they’re pressing charges.
Florida - PSL
Florida Mother: Autistic Son Handcuffed, Detained Under Baker Act
Click on the link to watch the news video and read the article.
New Mexico - Teacher Punching Special Needs
Student Caught on Video
Eyewitness News 4 spoke with a special needs student who was punched in the
face by a teacher after being drenched with water from a hose. Sonny Romero,
14, and his grandmother watched video of a fight between Romero and an
Espanola High School teacher.
Reprimanded Teacher Runs Out of 'Last Chances'
Columbus, Ohio schools first reprimanded teacher Eric B. Brentlinger for
being abusive to special-needs students in 1989. But the district gave him
more chances year after year, even after he violated a "last-chance
agreement" he had signed in 2006 promising to keep his temper in check and
to stop pushing, manhandling and yelling at special-needs children. By 2007,
Columbus City Schools officials had signed a second "last-chance" contract
with him and, by 2008, sent him to work in the district book warehouse, away
from children, on the condition that he promise to retire in 2010. The
district paid his $80,866 salary until he retired last spring. Brentlinger
worked with special-education students in the district for nearly 28 years,
in schools including Kent and Koebel elementaries and Yorktown and Eastmoor
Why Are Children Being Handcuffed at School?
According to AlterNet, students at Capital City Alternative School in
Mississippi are routinely handcuffed for hours as punishment for minor
misbehavior. On June 8, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal
class action lawsuit against the Jackson Public School District for allowing
this type of punishment. The lawsuit was filed after the school district
refused to respond to a letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center asking
that this practice be stopped.
- Family of Special Needs Student Hit by Teacher Wants Cameras in Classrooms
A Duval County family is hoping to turn a negative situation into a
positive one for children in special needs classrooms. Mishonda and Granardo
Felix's 13-year-old son Brandon McNeil has Down Syndrome and attends Palm
Avenue Exceptional Elementary School. A few months ago, the school's
principal told the family that the teaching assistant in their son's
classroom, Khasey Cunningham, was concerned about the way their son's
teacher, Darlena Thompson, was treating her students. Cunningham used her
cell phone's camera to record Thompson when she left the room one day, and
the video the Felix's viewed showed Thompson snatching a pencil from
Brandon's hand and throwing it back in his face.
New York - A
Disabled Boy's Death, and a System in Disarray
Jonathan Carey did not die for lack of money. New York State and the federal
government provided $1.4 million annually per person to care for Jonathan
and the other residents of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center, a warren
of low-rise concrete and brick buildings near Albany. Yet on a February
afternoon in 2007, Jonathan, a skinny, autistic 13-year-old, was
asphyxiated, slowly crushed to death in the back seat of a van by a state
employee who had worked nearly 200 hours without a day off over 15 days. The
employee, a ninth-grade dropout with a criminal conviction for selling
marijuana, had been on duty during at least one previous episode of alleged
abuse involving Jonathan. “I could be a good king or a bad king,” he told
the dying boy beneath him, according to court documents.
New York -
Brooklyn Mom Claims Special Needs Son Was Assaulted By Aide
A Brooklyn mom claims that her special needs son was put into a choke
hold at his school by a teacher's assistant earlier this week. And if she
doesn't beat her son, then no one can: "I don't beat my children, so I don't
expect people to beat my children. When I saw him, it hurt. I work with
children in two places. I don't appreciate it," said mother Elizabeth Pena.
Pena says that she was told by school officials that her son Chris, who
attends special needs classes at P.S. 141 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was
assaulted in school; she noticed when he came home on Wednesday with red
marks on his neck. She was told that a teacher's assistant put her
14-year-old son, who has been labeled "emotionally disturbed," in a choke
hold in the lunchroom front of other students and faculty. In addition to
the scratches on the front and back of his throat and bruises on his arms,
Chris also ended up with a couple of dislocated fingers. Chris told his
mother that he did fight back, and swung at the aide while trying to get out
of his grip. This year, there have been several controversial cases of
special needs kid being handcuffed in school, leading some politicians to
call for a ban on handcuffing children at schools. The DOE said the aide has
been suspended while a police investigation is on-going. Chris' father Dino
has his own idea what should happen to the aide: "I want him locked up. I
want him fired from his job. Or give me five minutes with him, that's it."
New York -
Mother Tells How Daughter was Confined in Potentially Unsafe Oswego BOCES
"Time Out Room"
Texas - A
Teacher's Aide Has Been Charged With Breaking a Disabled 15-year-old
Victoria Guadalupe Rivera, 52, was charged with injury to a child.
Investigators said the incident occurred in January at the Harris County
Academic Behavior Center in southwest Houston. Ethel Clark said her
daughter, Tameria, has been autistic since birth and the child cannot speak.
She suffers from frequent seizures and has undergone several open heart
surgeries for cardiac problems. On Jan. 5, Tameria was sent home from school
with what school officials termed a "dislocated shoulder."
School Official Defends Cops Who
It needed to be done. That was the message from a Jefferson County
Schools superintendent Tuesday after 9NEWS reported that police used pepper
spray on a second grader.
Student handcuffed seven hours to file cabinet sues APD, school system
A former Grady High School student who said Atlanta Police officers
handcuffed him to a file cabinet for an entire school day filed a civil
rights lawsuit Friday against APD and the city school system.
Former Appleton teacher Mary Berglund charged with child abuse
Child abuse charges filed Tuesday against a former Appleton teacher shook
the confidence of families and has a disabilities organization pondering a
Azusa police get in middle of reported slapping incidents involving student,
parent and teacher's aide
County education officials and Azusa police are investigating an
allegation of child abuse after a female instructional aide was accused of
slapping a 6-year-old autistic child, officials said Tuesday. But police
have also charged the student's mother with misdemeanor battery for slapping
the aide in retaliation.
Appleton teacher charged with 10 counts of child abuse
A former Appleton special needs teacher is being accused of physically
abusing her students and is facing 10 felony charges. Mary Berglund had been
a special education teacher at Janet Berry Elementary school for 16 years
before recently resigning.
County Attorney's Office Explains Charges in School Case
I am writing in response to the guest opinion by Randy Tarum (Tribune
Jan. 31), the civil attorney for the parents of a child involved in the
pending criminal cases against Julie Parish and Kristina Kallies.
County Attorney's Office Failed in its Duty to Protect
A recent decision by the county attorney's office essentially dismisses
charges against teacher's aide Kristi Kallies, accused of the abuse of
students with disabilities at North Middle School.
Florida - Boy,
8, Arrested Over School Tantrums; Orlando Teachers Had Deputies Arrest Boy 5
An 8-year-old boy was arrested earlier this week after being accused of
running from teachers at school, throwing sticks and injuring one of them.
Florida - Man
Taped Crying Student Into Chair, Turned Him Upside Down
The 5-year-old boy was wrapped with packing tape so he couldn't move from
his wooden chair, cops say.
Larkdale Elementary teacher accused of punching, spanking students
A Larkdale Elementary teacher has been accused of spanking children with
rulers and punching two 7-year-old girls in their arms. District officials
confirmed that Torrance Smith, 41, a second-grade teacher at the Fort
Lauderdale school, has been under investigation since last Thursday for an
allegation of battery involving a student.
Bermudians Seek Justice for Autistic Son
A Bermudian couple living in Ohio has started a Facebook campaign to help
draw attention, and seek justice, for their autistic son, whom they say was
abused by a teacher.
School Decides to Stop Pursuing Charges Against 12-year-old Autistic Student
The Frederick County School board says it will drop charges against a
12-year-old autistic student at Thurmont Middle School. That's according to
the boy's mother. On Tuesday, Cameron Mears was difficult in class. He
landed in the guidance office where he landed a punch on the Vice-Principal.
Alabama - Mom
Sues Birmingham Schools, Says Son Beaten at Barrett Elementary
A Birmingham woman who claims her son was beaten with a belt by his
second-grade teacher for missing six answers on a test has filed a federal
lawsuit against the teacher and the Birmingham city school system.
Pahrump School Officials Charged in Special Ed Abuse Case
Four faculty members at Floyd Elementary School in Pahrump have been
formally charged in connection with the alleged abuse of children in a
special education class, Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi announced
Nevada - Four
Nye County School Faculty Members Accused of Child Abuse/ Neglect
The Nye County Sheriffs Office arrested four faculty members at Floyd
Elementary School on Tuesday after a teacher and two aides were accused of
physically punishing students with mental and physical disabilities,
officials said. Teacher Sarah Hopkins, 52, aides Phyllis DuShane, 73, and
Kathryn Cummings, 56, and Principal Holly Lepisto, 53, were arrested Tuesday
on five counts of child abuse/neglect and one count conspiracy to commit a
crime, a Sheriffs Office news release said.
Police Arrest Pahrump Teacher, Principal
The Nye County Sheriff's Office has arrested a teacher, her aides and the
school's principal on four charges of child abuse. Police said special
education teacher Sarah Jane Hopkins, 52, at Floyd Elementary School in
Pahrump had been physically punishing her mentally and physically disabled
students for at least the past two years.
Disability Rights Center Challenges Handling of Restraint Complaints
This is part of an occasional series on discipline in Maine schools.
Fallon Teacher's Aide Charged with arrested on child abuse charges
Loretta Anne Schmelz, 47, faces six felony counts of child abuse in
connection with several alleged incidents at the school between May, 2009
and January, 2010. Court documents say other aides approached the teacher of
the special education class where Schmelz was working to complain about her
alleged behavior. Authorities say the students in the special education
class are severely disabled and unable to communicate.
Nevada - Parallel Investigation Into
Allegations of Abuse at a Fallon School
The aides first approached the classroom teacher on January 19 to report
the allegations. The teacher reported them to principal Robert Freeman, who
asked for written statements from the aides. Two weeks later, he met with
other district officials. But no one reported the allegations to the
Division of Child and Family Services until February 18, nearly one month
later. Under state law, school district employees, members of the clergy,
attorneys and doctors are considered "mandatory reporters. Anybody who
becomes aware of this information at the school has to tell law enforcement
within 24 hours," said Craig Mingay, the deputy district attorney who is
handling the case.
- EDITORIAL: Arresting Development
An incident involving a disorderly autistic student at Merritt Brown
Middle School last week should not have involved law enforcement. It is
absurd that an 11-year-old special-needs child was arrested and charged with
two counts of felony battery. He wasn’t brandishing a weapon. He wasn’t
roaming the halls on a rampage. Rather, he had a disability-related violent
outburst toward the principal and vice principal in their offices and the
Maine - Acadia
Director Defends Policy of Not Restraining Patients
The “compassionate act of working in mental health” should not entail the
risk of personal assault and injury for either patients or staff, he said.
In the past, mental health workers have employed many techniques now proven
to be more harmful than helpful, he said, including induced insulin shock
and ice baths. The use of restraints, he said, is coming to be recognized as
one of these misguided techniques.
- Jailed, Accused Of Using Choke-Hold Restraint, Witnesses Say Donna Thomas
Went Too Far
A Council Bluffs high school teacher has been jailed on accusations that
she put a special needs student in a choke hold. According to court
documents, witnesses said it isn’t the first time the teacher has done it.
Iowa - Three
Schools Cited for Using Restraints on Unruly kids
Teachers in three Iowa school districts have broken new state rules that
limit the use of physical force and "timeout" rooms to discipline unruly
students, state education records show.
Death Goes to School, Part 1
I hardly ever want to read about gruesome deaths or torture, unless
they're part of a juicy detective story. And if I did want to read about
them, it would never have occurred to me to look at testimony by the
Government Accountability Office before a committee of the House of
Representatives. Now I know better, because recently-released testimony has
some of the most disturbing material I've ever read. You can see it at
http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/palmbeachpost/pdf/gaoreport.pdf. The title of
the report is "Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse
at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers". If you've been reading
about the horrors of the Irish reform schools in the past, this report will
make you aware that we in the United States are doing just as badly, and
what's more we're doing it right now.
Death Goes to School, Part 2
Yesterday I described some of the information in the Government
Accountability Office testimony before the House of Representatives,
involving deaths and injuries of schoolchildren physically restrained by
school staff (you can read this testimony at
http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/palmbeachpost/pdf/gaoreport.pdf ). Today, I
want to start discussing some of the history and belief systems behind the
potentially lethal use of restraint methods with children.
Special-ed Vehicles Had Seatbelts in Past
"We are used to putting them in seatbelts so we don't have to worry about
them. If you have a runner (a child who leaves the seat and runs inside the
bus), even if you have an aide on board, you have to be constantly looking
to make sure the child does not get up."
Special Ed Students Disciplined Twice As Often
The first time Spencer Klintworth was suspended from school, his mother
was astonished: The kindergartner has brain damage and is in special
education. Then it happened again. And again. By the end of the 2009-2010
school year, he'd been sent home by the Cypress-Fairbanks school district
five times, Debbie Klintworth says.
Iowa - Records
Show 3 Iowa Schools Broke Restraint Rules
New state rules that limit using physical force to discipline unruly
students have been broken by teachers in at least three Iowa school
districts, according to state education records.
- Restraint and Seclusion News
This section provides updates on changes and activities in restraint and
seclusion practices and policies. The most current update is listed first.
Court Case of Woman Accused of Hurting Autistic Girl Continued
For a 9-year-old autistic girl, hell was riding the school bus every day.
That's when, police say, the 24-year-old bus monitor, Jennifer Davila, would
torture the young girl, pinching her, poking her, wrenching the girl's small
fingers as they drove along the route from the girl's home to school and
back again. For the girl's mother it was a nightmare come true.
- 'I Thought I Was the Only One': 3 Kids, 3 Years, Nearly 100 School
Michael Corbeau vividly remembers being restrained when he was a student
in Scarborough. "The hardest part is when you're going down," Corbeau said.
"They count, so you know it's coming. You struggle and fight. That's how
people break things, that's when kids and teachers get hurt."
- Restaurant rage? South Florida Man
Arrested in Alleged Olive Garden in Boynton Beach
Copy of police report
Florida - Sanctioned Venice Teacher May Return
Under a settlement agreement struck with the state education department,
O'Neill would serve a two-year probation, receive a letter of reprimand and
pay a $500 fine. She would also have to pay $600 to cover the cost of
New Jersey - Restraints Used by NJ Educators to
Curb Unruly Behavior Under Scrutiny
It’s been called “the dirty little secret” of special education. New Jersey
gives public and private schools a virtual free pass to forcibly restrain
unruly children with disabilities. School employees can use “bear hugs,”
“basket holds” and “take downs” … which sound more like wrestling moves than
anything you’d expect to see in school … and keep children confined in
“time-out” rooms until they calm down. Last year, congressional
investigators uncovered hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and at least 20
deaths related to the use of restraints and seclusion in U.S. schools since
Georgia - Mother of Autistic Child Arrested for
Failure to Comply with School Board
The case of Betsy Loiacono versus the Houston County Georgia School Board
has been going on for over a year now, but the stakes just recently got
higher for Loiacono after she was arrested on May 18th by the Houston County
Sheriff's Office. Loiacono's attorney in the case, Hatcher Graham, indicated
the arrest came after repeated attempts to compromise with the school board
went ignored. An arrest warrant was issued for Loiacono on the grounds that
she has failed to fulfill her parental responsibilities as they relate to
Georgia's mandatory school attendance requirement. Loiacono turned herself
in to authorities the next day.
Texas - Special Needs Student Restrained 66
Times In 19 Days
Garrett Fowlers' mother is the first to admit he can be a handful. The first
grader has autism, aspergers and attention deficit disorder. Donna Fowler
adopted Garret at birth. She's been a single parent since her husband's
death in 2007. "Being a single parent I don't have a lot of options," Fowler
said. "That's just the bottom line we're at everybody’s mercy." Fowler gave
Humble I.S.D. her permission to restrain Garrett. Being a special education
teacher herself Fowler said she thought her little boy would only be
restrained in emergency situations. But according to Fowler's attorney
Humble I.S.D's own records show Garrett was restrained 66 times in just a 19
Idaho - School Has Autistic Child Arrested
Charges of battery against an eight-year-old with Asperger's syndrome have
been dropped, and her parents are now pursuing legal action against the
Idaho school district that called law enforcement. What's wrong with this
picture? Evelyn Towry was told she couldn't wear her special jacket in class
last week, prompting the little girl (whose diagnosis of Asperger's falls on
the autism spectrum) to become resistent and act out in the classroom. But
instead of telling the child she could just wear her jacket, school
officials said they called the cops, alleging she assaulted school staff
during the incident.
Texas - FOX 26’s Randy Wallace Continued His
Series on Special Education in Texas
On Monday May 3, 2010, KRIV-TV FOX 26’s Randy Wallace continued his series
on special education in Texas. The story centers around an 8 year special
education student in the Humble ISD that was repeatedly restrained for
misbehavior by staff. Per the district’s own documentation, the student was
restrained an incredible of 66 times in 18 days. The mother was left with no
other alternative but to place him in a therapeutic residential placement
and was forced to seek reimbursement from the school system. Oh, and by the
way he was restrained only 4 times in 6 months at that facility.
Georgia - School Board Eyes Ban on
Seclusion in Schools
The Georgia Board of Education is considering banning solitary confinement
in schools and limiting the use of restraint to calm misbehaving students,
which would mark the first time the state has addressed the controversial
Virginia - Autism Teacher Charged With Child
A pre-school autism teacher has been suspended pending charges of child
cruelty and a lesser charge of child abuse, according to Fairfax County
Police. Police said Jennah Christine Billeter, of Fairfax, physically
assaulted and mistreated two boys, ages four and five, who were assigned to
her class at Deer Park Elementary School, in the Centreville area.
Maine - A Reporter Has Taken on the Mission of
Exposing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in our Public Schools
New Jersey - Three Part Series on Restraint
Special Ed Advocates, Teachers Divided on Use of Force on Kids
Parents Face Obstacles Over Restraint Law
Mom Takes on Restraints
Arizona - Mom Alleges Gilbert School Abused
Autistic Daughter, 5
On Tuesday, Anderson told the five-member governing board that her
5-year-old daughter, who has an autism spectrum disorder, has been coming
home with bruises and is afraid to go to school. At one point in September,
her daughter came home from school with a bruise on her arm that was shaped
like a handprint. Bruises have continued to appear since.
New York - The Jonathan Carey Story: The
Killing of an Innocent Boy with Autism
Colorado - Student's Hand Duct Taped to
A Southern Colorado teacher's actions are being investigated by the Legal
Center for People with Disabilities, because she used duct tape to restrain
a student's arm to his wheelchair.
Texas - Teacher-Beats-Student Video; Allegedly
Lashed out After Student Teased Girl
When their teacher backed one of their classmates into a corner, students at
a Houston-area charter school thought it was a joke - but it allegedly
turned into a shocking and brutal beating that was caught on tape.
Pennsylvania - Report on Prone restraint in
Texas - Warrant out for Waco ISD Teacher's
An arrest warrant has been issued for a Waco ISD teacher after she
allegedly slapped a special needs student in her class. Police informed Waco
ISD that the teacher, Katheryn Shurley, is charged with injury to a child.
Shurley admitted to slapping the child three times in class at Meadowbrook
Florida - Boy Accused of Assault With Rubber
A 13-year-old student in Orange County, Fla., was suspended for 10 days
and could be banned from school over an alleged assault with a rubber band,
according to a WKMG Local 6 News report. Robert Gomez, a seventh-grader at
Liberty Middle School, said he picked up a rubber band at school and slipped
it on his wrist. Gomez said when his science teacher demanded the rubber
band, the student said he tossed it on her desk. After the incident, Gomez
received a 10-day suspension for threatening his teacher with what
administrators say was a weapon, Local 6 News reported.
This page last updated on
Monday 16 July 2012