MADISON, Ala. – A mother is calling for increased training of special needs educators within Madison City Schools after she says her son’s aide used excessive force on her child during school.
Tiffany Smith’s six year old son Jackson is Autistic and non verbal. She says his aide at Columbia Elementary School used improper restraint and she is now calling for the aide to be let go from the school system as well as for the school system to increase training for those who work with children with special needs.
On April 13, Tiffany Smith says her son Jackson was on the Playground at Columbia Elementary School.
“He ran to the gate, unlatched the gate, ran out of the gate and into the parking lot,” says Tiffany Smith.
Smith says the school notified her of the incident.
“I spoke with the principal and I went to the school and watched the video,” says Smith.
She says her non verbal, Autistic son has an aide.
“The aides were not by the gates, preventing him from eloping,” says Smith.
Smith says she watched the security video and is concerned by the aides actions.
“She grabbed him by the back of the shirt and jerked him. Then once she got him to the sidewalk from the parking lot and back to the gated playground, she jerked him up by the arm so hard that his arm was at an angle and his feet were in the air,” says Smith.
Smith works with special needs children in a different school district and believes the aide acted improperly.
“You can’t get both feet off the air without using too much restraint or force,” says Smith.
She says Madison City Schools needs to implement better training for educators working with children with special needs.
“If you know that you may have to restrain a child then that’s something an aide should be trained for. They shouldn’t be jerking them by the back of the shirts or up by their arms where their feet come off the ground,” says Smith.
Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols says they take complaints like this seriously and utilized law enforcement to investigate the teachers actions. Madison Police Department confirms with News 19 they found no criminal intent.
“Madison Police Department investigated they found no injury or no incident,” says Ed Nichols.
Nichols says the aide is not being terminated but instead, reassigned.
“We went in the best interest of all of the employees and the students and parents and separated them because we felt like that interaction wouldn’t be good but we find no fault there with the employee at this time, so there’s no action to be taken,” says Nichols.
Smith says because the aide still works with Madison City Schools she is worried this could happen to another child. But again, the school system says it found no fault in the aide’s actions.