Honolulu, Hawaii: Jury okays use of restraint for autistic boy

Sept 12, 2017, Honolulu Civil Beat: Jury Clears School In Use Of Chair And Seat Belt For Special Ed Preschooler The Hawaii Department of Education did not discriminate against an autistic preschool student who was placed in a specialized chair and fastened with a seat belt during school hours, a federal jury decided Monday. The child, identified as “M.R.” in court documents, was enrolled in special education preschool at Koko Head Elementary from August 2013 to October 2015. A February 2016 lawsuit filed by Maria Therese Ricks, the child’s mother, against then-Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and other DOE officials, including the principal and the department head of special education at the school, alleged that the minor was put in a specialized Rifton chair as “a means of restraining” him.... Ricks claimed that school officials used the chair as “a restraint” and as “punishment” against her son and that it caused him “physical pain and enormous emotional distress.”