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Thursday, July 11, 2024 | Back issues
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Mom Says Teacher Tied Up Her Child

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) - A mother claims she walked into her disabled son's classroom to find him alone in a corner, tied to a chair. She claims a substitute teacher and/or a teacher's aide at William Penn Elementary School tied the autistic 8-year-old with cerebral palsy to a chair with a belt and left him "alone, with no adult supervision or support."

The mother, identified only as J.R. in the federal complaint, says her child suffers from autism, cerebral palsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He is essentially non-verbal, she says.

The mother says she found her child tied up on Jan. 10 when she visited his class. She says they boy "appeared traumatized" and "disheveled" when she found him.

Even if it had a legitimate purpose, the belt, which had been "tied and double tied," would have endangered the boy in an emergency, because "it would have been difficult to get him unattached from the chair," she says.

William Penn Elementary, also known as School 49, is in Indianapolis.

The mother says she "called the officer of School 49" and said, "My son is in room 106 tied to a chair in the corner of the classroom and someone needs to come check out the situation." She said the "waited between seven to 10 minutes for a response."

She adds that while she was waiting, "one of the assistants from the classroom, Ms. Candy, stated 'the other two ladies asked me if I thought you were going to be upset seeing your son tied to a chair.' Ms. Akers heard that comment and said, 'Candy, you need to go back to class.'"

The mother says that defendant Rhonda Akers then told her, "'As a mother, I understand your tears. As the principal of School 49 I am sorry that (H.R.) has slid under the radar and I am so very sorry this happened. I don't know what else to say." (Parentheses in complaint."

The mother seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, battery, negligence and deliberate indifference. She is represented by Ronald Frazier.

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