Created: November 15, 2019 10:11 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Parents send their children to school, expecting them to be safe, however, one family is now questioning Albuquerque Public Schools officials after their son came home with bruises.
The Chavez family said their child, who has a learning disability and is on the autism spectrum, was restrained in class by a teacher’s aide.
Vincent Chavez, 12, attends Harrison Middle School in the South Valley. His mom, Kimberly Chavez, said she got a call from the school on October 29.
The call was about his Vincent’s bad behavior, that ended with an incident between him and his teacher’s aide.
His mom said when she got to the school, her son had a mark on his face, and bruises up and down his arms.
Even weeks later, they still don’t understand what happened. The only story they have is that Vincent climbed through a window to take a walk, so a teacher's aide was called over to get him, and she said restrained him.
Vincent told her he was grabbed and pushed into a wall.
While the details are unclear, APS confirms a teacher's aide from Harrison Middle School is now on leave pending its own investigation.
“I think if they’re going to have special programs they should have the teachers more trained, more patience,” said Kimberly Chavez, Vincent’s mother. “If they get frustrated they should have someone come in and take over… and not think they have the right to put their hands on someone else’s child.”
According to APS policy employees may use "reasonable restraint" if a student presents an immediate danger, of less restrictive measures won’t help.
The Chavez family plans on pressing assault charges.
They are also hoping to raise awareness. OPEN (Organizing Parents Education Network) New Mexico is trying to end restraint in schools. The organization is hoping more people will send a message with the “don’t restrain me” shirt.
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