top of page

Casper, WY: Police handcuff 9 yr old with autism at school; US Dept of Ed investigates

Mar 6, 2020, Casper (WY) Star Tribune: A 9-year-old autistic student was handcuffed at a Casper school. Now the feds are investigating A 9-year-old Casper student with high-functioning autism was restrained and handcuffed last year, resulting in an investigation by the federal Department of Education into how the student was treated in the months leading up to the incident. The investigation, conducted by the federal Office of Civil Rights, spans six different allegations, according to a letter sent by federal investigators to the student’s mother. They include failing to respond to harassment by other students; disciplining the student differently than others; and for restraining the student too often. The complaints were made by Sara Harris, the student’s mother, in November. Her son was a 9-year-old student at Pineview Elementary. In October, before Harris made her complaint, Pineview officials called the police on her son after he became disruptive and allegedly made threats against himself and others, according to a police incident report. The student was bear-hugged by the officer, who took him to the ground. The student repeatedly asked the officer to taze him and to take him to jail, according to Harris and the police description of the event. After Officer Davis Romero told the student he was going to jail, the student calmed down, according to the report and the mother. As he was leaving, Pineview Principal Chris Carruth-Britt told the student he wasn’t going to jail…. “First question is, why are all the adults standing in the hallway while the kid’s having a meltdown,” she said. “First of all, you have kids’ trusted adults there. A counselor, a teacher. All those other adults, get the f—- out of the hallway. What’s wrong with you? This is a lesson on how to escalate a kid. They escalated him.” She said teachers are trained in how to safely restrain students, which she called a “nice, easy hold” that she likened to a strong hug. “It’s the school’s responsibility to inform anyone in contact with the kid about his behavior plan and his triggers,” Phillips added. The student’s IEP notes that he had repeated behavioral issues — 27 through April of the 2018-19 school year. It states that he is easily overwhelmed and that noise is a “trigger for outbursts.”…

bottom of page