Mom Enraged That Her Special-Needs Son Was Restrained With Velcro Straps at School
Video of a 5-year-old child with special needs being restrained with Velcro straps after apparently acting out is raising questions about whether the officer's actions went too far, WABC-TV New York reports.
Derick Marte has ADHD and has had outbursts in the past, but nothing that led to the boy being restrained in such a matter, said his mother, Alicia Cabrel. Derick was at Public School 107, in Bronx, New York, when he allegedly lashed out at his paraprofessional. Alicia Cabrel got a call from the school, and an official told her they would call her back if she was needed. The school called again 25 minutes later, saying Derick was out of control.
Cabrel recorded some of what happened when she arrived at the school, including her son being restrained. Officials say the boy began throwing objects and became a danger to himself, making the use of the straps necessary. His mother disagrees.
"I have so many feelings that I cannot even explain, because he's only a 5-year-old," she said. "Nobody was injured. Usually when he gets his tantrums, I live across the street from the school. I can get there in less then five minutes. Why didn't you call me 30 minutes before he got to that point?"
Cabrel feels officials mishandled the situation and has pulled her child out of the school. A psychologist has recommended that her son be homeschooled. Cabrel has retained a lawyer with the hopes that her case will bring about changes in the school system's protocols. "There's got to be a better way," attorney John O'Halloran said. "If that's the system, we need to change that system to make it more friendly to the family and the parents."
As for Cabrel's son, she says her boy still hasn't forgotten what happened that day. "He wakes up in the middle of the night, scared, [saying] Mommy, I don't want to go to school."