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."

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.