Local News

Cumberland schools review student-restraint policy

Posted September 20, 2010

— Cumberland County Schools administrators are reviewing the district's policy on restraining students after a 5-year-old's arm was broken.

Authorities charged Jackie Bennett, a teacher at J.W. Coon Elementary School, with assault inflicting serious bodily injury and child abuse inflicting serious injury.

Bennett, 57, of 6529 Pacific Ave., told investigators he was attempting a therapeutic hold on Tacara Gunn when the injury occurred, authorities said.

A therapeutic hold is a way of physically restraining someone for a limited time to calm them and prevent them from hurting themselves or others, Cumberland County Schools officials said.

The restraint is allowed under state law, and Cumberland County Schools spokeswoman Theresa Perry said all teachers of special-needs students, including Bennett, are trained to use the holds as a last resort.

Bennett has been reassigned to a position where he's not working directly with students, pending an internal review of the incident, officials said.


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  • bigmelons2004 Sep 21, 2010

    That is a tough call. I can only look at my child and think about someone breaking her arm in some therapeutic hold. I am afraid before it was all over, Wake County Schools would not like me one little bit.

  • barbara28 Sep 21, 2010

    big brother already is watching but in the wrong places. What do you dink the school system is? only a place of big brother (your State Government) but he does not want to see what is going on. Because your rights may be violated more than you think and that could be exposed more easily in your favor. so think about you kids education they have a right to a equal education across the USA.

  • jnc67 Sep 20, 2010

    I think we should have 24hr monitored cameras with voice surveillance in school not maybe camera on but always on with no hiding places except bathroom stalls.

    Big Brother is watching.

  • barbara28 Sep 20, 2010

    I think we should have 24hr monitored cameras with voice surveillance in school not maybe camera on but always on with no hiding places except bathroom stalls. That includes all offices from the principal down. then the teacher and student is protected and we also can see how our teachers teach. and that also would provide new jobs in our economy. and everyone needs a job today. and maybe make smaller classrooms. also have a federal guideline on teaching so all our across the USA be on the same level and not only the rich neighborhood schools have all the best teachers

  • deesaunders Sep 20, 2010

    As we take a look at the teacher injuring the student in Fayetteville, NC. I want to bring to light on what happened on March 29, 2010 at Southeast Halifax High School. A substitute teacher was assaulted by students which caused bodily harm. We can arrest teachers for assaults but what about students who asault teachers? Not only they place this teacher out of work but this teacher has not received any compensation for her injury, so as we look at the teacher who did an assault but the teachers who are asaulted on a daily basis and don't get reported.

  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    This is a special needs student.

    Sometimes they are even stronger than their mainstreamed counter parts.

    I feel for the kid, but I feel for this teacher too, and I wish there was film to show just what happened.

    I mean what person won't relent once they're feeling pain, and this child had to feel some pain before the actual break, yet apparently didn't relent.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    They need to get cameras in every single school room nationwide.

    Then not only will students be protected by the videos, so will innocent teachers who are sometimes victimized by students and students victimized by other students.

    The video will show who's at fault and needs to be corrected.

    God bless.


  • ttc248 Sep 20, 2010

    I agree. I have seen some of them in action and it isn't pretty. I hope this comes out the best possible for this gentleman. And comments from some who know him have shared that he is devastated by this. It is said that he is the kindest person with a great deal of empathy with children with disabilites. For his sake and the child, I hope for the best.

  • Desiderata Sep 20, 2010

    How bad of an attitude did this kid have? Some kids are quite capable of causing serious injury when they are upset and this may have been the case...I would never work with kids in schools for this reason ..they are a danger !