Anthony Birden, a 12 year old with shaken baby syndrome, who can only communicate with his right hand, had that hand restrained with duct tape by a teacher in Colorado. Teacher Leslie Garcia said it was the only way she could make him stop doing a gagging movement. The boy's grandmother says that is the way the child communicates.
The district attorney decided not to charge the teacher. However, the incident continues to be investigated by the Center for People with Disabilities, who believe the act is against state law. After they submit a report, they will follow up with the school. A review by the federal office of civil rights may take place.
"This shouldn't have happened," says Stephen Bohrer, the executive director of the San Luis Board of Cooperative Educational Services, or BOCES. It's the agency that trains and places special education teachers throughout the San Luis Valley. "We have policies in place, we have handbooks in place that would forbid it," says Bohrer.
A video report can be seen here.
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An act to prevent the use of mechanical and physical restraints and seclusion of students in schools was passed by the House March 3, 2010 (Keeping All Students Safe Act, H.R. 4247). It was received in the Senate and read twice before being referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.