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School Gets Restraining|Order Against Boy, 9

MONTEREY, Calif. (CN) - A school district was granted a temporary restraining order against a 9-year-old boy because his "dangerous, escalating and uncontrollable behavior poses a clear and imminent danger to the staff, students and defendant."

Monterey Superior Court Judge Efren Iglesia granted the order to Carmel Unified School District on Monday with little argument from the boy's mother, who was not represented.

It removed the child from a special education program at Carmel River School and placed him in a Monterey County Office of Education program in Spreckels, for students who are emotionally disturbed, should the parents decide to return him to school.

According to the district's complaint, the child's behavior has become "increasingly unmanageable." He qualifies to receive special education services due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other learning disabilities.

"He has amassed a 58-page disciplinary record at the District, during just 21 instructional months," the complaint states. "Examples of the defendant's behaviors include hitting, kicking and spitting ... throwing objects such as rocks and books, destroying property and threatening to hurt people. Defendant has pushed and shoved other students."

He slapped his teacher in the face when she intervened in an argument he had with another student, then ran into the bathroom and locked himself in a stall, according to the complaint. He came out to slap his teacher some more, then spit on people, spit on the principal when he arrived, then threw books and chairs, hitting and kicking teachers the whole time, the school district says.

The principal finally called the Monterey County Sheriff's Office and a deputy had to forcibly remove him from a bathroom stall.

In another incident, the fifth-grader allegedly threw a handful of gravel at his teacher, threw a rock at a second teacher, and after being restrained and taken to the principal's office he broke free and threatened to stab the teachers and the principal with a pencil. It took all three to wrestle him down.

"Previously he might threaten to hurt somebody ... Now he is following through with his threats. His teacher has observed that defendant appears to have a greater desire to inflict pain upon other people," the complaint states.

The district says the Spreckels program is specifically designed for students with emotional disturbances. There are four adults and just 10 children, a mental health therapist on site at all times, and a safe room.

The mother, however, said the Spreckels program was inappropriate for her son.

"I'm willing to home-school him," she told the judge. "I've observed the Spreckels program. ... It will hurt him. It does not meet his needs. I was willing to work with them [the school district], but then they did this. I won't send him there."

The district's lawyer, Daniel Osher of Lozano Smith, and its chief student services officer Heath Rocha appeared fairly pleased with that development and quickly acquiesced to the mother's desire to home-school.

"Home school is always an option for parents," Rocha told the judge.

According to the complaint, the parents have not been cooperative in the past. "For a significant period of time, they refused to allow the district to provide mental health therapy to defendant. They have undermined the district's authority, conveying to defendant that he does not have to follow staff directives. ... This conduct has exacerbated the instability and danger of defendant's presence at Carmel River School," the complaint states.

The district said it has a team of instructors helping him, including a board-certified behavior analyst and an individual behavior specialist. He also receives mental health therapy from the county health department.

Clutching a Kleenex in one hand, the mother seemed unable to say much. "I just want to tell you, my son is not dangerous," she said. "My son ..." but her sentence and defense stopped there.

"I have learned that parents' views of their children sometimes do not comport with reality," Judge Iglesia said. "With the materials I have seen here, I think there is sufficient reason to grant the application - and that's what I'm doing."

The next hearing is scheduled for June 19.

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