Teacher files civil complaint over violent disabled student | KOB 4
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Teacher files civil complaint over violent disabled student

Meg Hilling
November 27, 2017 06:38 PM

FARMINGTON, N.M. -- What do you do with a student that is acting so violent that classmates and teachers feel threatened? What do you do when that student also has a disability and has a right to an education?

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A school district in the Four Corners is grappling with those question after a teacher filed a civil complaint.

"Because the number one thing is we want to make sure our kids are protected at all cost. But exactly what is the line for that when a teacher gets injured," said Brenda Parker, the director of the San Juan Center for Independence.

Rhonda Bradford filed a civil complaint against the Farmington Municipal School District stating it had failed to take action after she reported that a disabled 14-year-old acted violently towards her and other students. She said it's happened multiple times since August.

The complaint says the student has kicked, bitten, screamed, spit mucus and even tossed his feces at staff and students.

At this time, school district Superintendent Eugene Schmidt said he will not comment on any specific details of the case, but adds maintaining safety for both students and staff is of the utmost priority for the district.

In the complaint, Bradford notes that the student kicked her on two occasions. She said that forced her to miss teaching for medical care, and there was no compensatory time. Bradford is also seeking a restraining order against the student.

Local advocates for those with disabilities are expressing frustration with the way the district is handling it.

"We strongly advocate and believe in rights for individuals with disabilities, but we also believe that they shouldn't be punished for their actions, that the punishment should meet their needs," Parker said, "and it should also meet the needs of those that were violated or whatever the situation may be."

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Meg Hilling

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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