Celiac.com 12/27/2019 - School surveillance video of a nurse and teacher dragging a child with autism, celiac disease, and assorted other physical issues down a hallway has shocked concerned parents and authorities in Lexington Kentucky, where the incident took place.
According to the boy's mother, Jo Grayson, her 11-year-old son, Thatcher, has autism, epilepsy, celiac disease and hyper-mobility according to news reports. Thatcher is largely non-verbal. Grayson said the incident at Tates Creek Middle School left Thatcher with cuts and bruises across his upper body.
According to Grayson, Thatcher was "having a meltdown...[and] refused to get up off the gym floor." She said that the "teacher had messaged me that they had to pick him off of the gym floor earlier in the day. But she did not say that he was dragged down the hallway.”
A statement from the Fayette County School district reads: “We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and take any and all reports of this nature seriously. While we cannot discuss individual personnel matters, we can say that in a situation involving these types of allegations, we would make a report to the cabinet for health and family services and place the employee involved on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.”
A statement from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, which employs the nurse, reads: “A school health nurse has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. We continue to work with Fayette County Public Schools to investigate the matter. We cannot comment further at this time.”
Since Thatcher is non-verbal, it took some time before Grayson noticed the cuts and abrasions on his body, she said.
The video was released sometime after the Sept. 18, 2018, and a lawsuit was filed on September 13th, 2019. The lawsuit said that as a result of the dragging, Thatcher was seriously injured physically and mentally, with injuries to his stomach, back and left shoulder.
The lawsuit alleges that the school failed to adequately train staff on appropriate supervision of students, including those with special needs.
Certainly, this type of thing should never happen to any student in any school anywhere. That it happened to a child with special needs is especially heartbreaking.
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