Local News

Disability rights group sues Wake school board

Posted September 16, 2008

— A protection and advocacy group for people with disabilities has filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Wake County Board of Education to investigate complaints of autistic students being improperly restrained.

According to the complaint, which the Disability Rights North Carolina filed in U.S. District Court, the group received a complaint in April about a school resource officer at Carroll Middle School in Raleigh placing handcuffs on one child.

Four months later, it received a complaint from another parent that his child came home from the school with bruises resulting from physical restraints.

Upon investigation, DRNC learned of a vacant classroom, called the "WWF room," that is used to encourage students to wrestle with one another and teaching assistants to release aggression.

A third child developed migraine headaches and panic attacks from witnessing the use of handcuffs and physical restraints on other students and fear that similar restraints would be used on that student, DRNC claims.

The group wants to go into the self-contained classroom during school hours to monitor the class and talk to parents and staff..

"We have very unique authority and responsibility to follow up on any allegations of abuse or neglect that we might receive," said DRNC Executive Director Vicki Smith.

According to law, organizations such as DRNC "shall have reasonable unaccompanied access to public and private facilities … when necessary to conduct a full investigation on an incident of abuse or neglect."

"We've agreed to allow our staff to be interviewed by their attorneys," Wake County schools spokesman Michael Evans said. "We've allowed them to come in to see the school, the classroom."

According to document and e-mails obtained by WRAL News, DRNC can only have access to the classroom after school hours, and if they choose, teachers can contact the group. Student information is off limits.

"Wake County denied us meaningful access," Smith said. "Usually in a situation where people try to keep you out, you become more suspicious."

In a written statement, the school system said it has been "thoroughly investigating these matters" and has asked DRNC to share any information they might have of other incidents or concerns.

"The district is taking these concerns very seriously and will continue to make every effort to ensure the rights of disabled students are protected while also protecting the physical safety of all students and staff."


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  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008

    My child is getting a good education. He's being given what he can handle in classrooms he can handle with teachers and (normal) students who can handle him. Not all (normal) students think like you, either. My child has made many friends with 'normal' kids and they are happy and, obviously more accepting than you.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008


    Although my child is somewhat mainstreamed and is doing fine, I'd prefer him to be in a self-contained class to keep him away from all the "normal" kids. Just because they don't have a disability doesn't mean there's nothing wrong with them! You can find something wrong, or "not normal" with just about every child if you look hard enough.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008

    And while we're at it--we'll build a school for those children who need extra help because, although they have no disability, they're just not as smart as their peers, and one for those who need instruction in Spanish, and one for those who speak Chinese, and one for those who speak Japanese, and one for those might have higher IQs than most etc., etc., etc. And then we'll just go back to segregation!! What do you think about that?

  • TheAdmiral Sep 17, 2008

    "and collect welfare, or keep having kid after kid just to get more welfare money. "

    So then why are you for the substandard education welfare that the school systems give the children?

  • TheAdmiral Sep 17, 2008

    "How do you define "normal"?"

    Here we go with the philosophical brain dead whining over what is normal. You know what it is, but it is refused to be the standard because a standardization and what is nominal or normal does not fit the situation.

    As far as paying for it - You have your answer - you want it paid for - you pay school taxes - demand that they build a special needs school. I already pay for it through my taxes. I just want them in a school that specializes in education of those who have to have special needs.

    You have a problem with that because you prefer all of the school systems to have a parachute to slow the kids down and make the special needs kids feel normal, when they are not.

    When you folks are no longer in denial - let's talk. Until then I can blow in one of your ears and hear the hurricane coming out the other.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008

    Amen to readerman!!! I totally agree. I don't want my money paying for anybody's abortions, or drug habits, or to pay for the lazy bums who sit on their sofas (I had another word in there, but got censored!) and collect welfare, or keep having kid after kid just to get more welfare money. But can I stop it? No--believe me I've tried.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008

    BTW, he's doing just fine in public school where he is.

  • taurismo Sep 17, 2008

    Hey Admiral--
    I'll gladly put my special needs child in a private school as soon as you pay the tab!!

  • poohperson2000 Sep 17, 2008


    How do you define "normal"? You need to define better than that. There are some autistic kids that can function in a classroom setting, there are some "normal" kids that can not...

  • TheAdmiral Sep 17, 2008

    Well, you can call me ignorant all you want - commonly people who are truely ignorant and can not support their opinions with facts do that.

    The fact of the matter is that the parents should ground themselves in that they have a child that is not normal and is not entitled to be placed in with normal children.

    They require special attention that the school system can not give them. The answer to give the school systems more money just adds to the insanity, but since those who have one of those children who have autism don't get it - they will continue to push for an already unprepared school system to have all of the resources (that they DON'T have for their regular kids) available for kids with special needs. That push is unrealistic, and it does no justice to their kid or the rest of the system.

    So, as ignorant as my comments might have seemed to parents who have kids, there is a certain amount of mental disability that does not let them see fact from fiction.