Special Ed Kids Handcuffed in Schools

     ALBUQUERQUE (CN) – Albuquerque Public Schools and the state prosecutor’s office manhandle, arrest, criminally charge and imprison disabled students for acting like disabled students, parents claim in a class action.
     Three parents sued the Albuquerque Board of Education and the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office for their own children and on behalf of the class, in Bernalillo County Court.
     They claim, among other things, that the defendants unreasonably, and illegally, handcuff special education students.
     “School resource officers should not handcuff a child who is receiving special education services,” the parents say in the complaint.
     Education law requires schools to provide an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and in some cases a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) for disabled students.
     A BIP may and sometimes does allow “therapeutic holds” and other specifically outlined forms of physical restraint in the case of extreme or violent outbursts from a child.
     But the parents claim the school system ignores students’ BIPs and allows untrained personnel to grab, handle and pin students when they act out, even when the behavior may be expected due to their disabilities, as described in their IEPs.
     The schools and prosecutors also violate the Individuals with Disabilities Act and disabled students’ civil rights by treating their behavior as criminal, the parents say.
     They claim that disabled students have repeatedly been arrested, handcuffed and sent to juvenile detention even though their tantrums and misbehaviors were predictable, due to their disabilities.
     They seek declaratory judgment and an injunction restraining the defendants and ordering them to improve training.
     The parents are represented by Joseph P. Kennedy.

%d bloggers like this: