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Anderson School Sued for Autistic Student’s Injuries

Date11 Apr 2019
Anderson S.D. Sued for Autistic Student's Injuries

The parent of a 9-year-old boy who was allegedly injured while being dragged down a school hallway by a teacher and teaching assistant, has filed a lawsuit against the Anderson School District.

The incident that prompted the lawsuit occurred on April 24, 2018. The boy was assigned to a self-contained classroom because of his mental challenges and had an individual education plan. However, he was participating in a “fun day” at the school with a bounce house ball pit and became overstimulated. According to the lawsuit, teacher Kimberly Barefoot and teaching assistant Chrystal Vaughn dragged him from the play area, pushed his head toward his chest, pulled his arms from his body and walked him down the school hallway.

The lawsuit says that the incident left the child with a bruised chest. It adds that the defendants didn’t contact the child’s parent or report the incident to law enforcement.

David Standeffer, the lawyer representing the parent of the child, said the parent found out about the incident and demanded to see the video of it.

Anderson School District 2 administrator Richard Rosenberger said the school district can’t comment on pending litigation “but takes seriously any allegation concerning the safety and well-being of our students and/or staff members.”

“Regarding inquiries concerning individual students, the District is unable to provide information that would compromise the District’s legal obligations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the disclosure of confidential student information,” Rosenberger wrote in an emailed statement. ” In accordance with this law, the District must maintain that privacy and cannot answer questions about any individual student. Similarly, the District does not comment on confidential and sensitive information relating to the District’s employment decisions, as we also have a responsibility to ensure that the privacy of our employees is protected.

“The District promotes respect and tolerance among all stakeholders and to that end, we diligently work to ensure that any allegations of improper conduct are timely investigated in accordance with our policies and procedures. The District will not condone any conduct or action that runs afoul of our policies and expectations for both students and staff members. We take seriously our role in the community as the steward of our children’s education, overall well-being, and safekeeping and will do everything in our power to see that each student and every staff member is treated respectfully and appropriately.”

The lawsuit asks for $100,000 in actual damages, as well as punitive damages.

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