Questions linger after a 5-year-old special-needs student was tied up as part of a punishment for acting out at his Bronx school, and the incident was caught on cell phone video.
Now, his mother is demanding answers.
The video is heartbreaking, and it’s tough to watch the little boy crying out for his mother. But the big question is did school safety agents at PS 107 in the Soundview section go too far, or was there good reason to restrain the boy while following protocol?
Mom Alicia Cabrel took the video of her son Derick tied to the chair with velcro straps, which is something that officer are allowed to do in certain circumstances.
Cabrel says Derick Marte has ADHD and has had outbursts in the past, but nothing like this has ever happened before. She says Derick was in the gym, and when it was time to head back to class, he got upset.
She says school officials did call her and said they would reach back out if they needed her. She got another call about 25 minutes later saying her son was out of control.
The NYPD, which overseas the officers, said the agents determined Derick was a danger to himself and others. They said he had thrown objects, was kicking and punching and had tried to bite one of the agents.
But Cabrel feels the school mishandled the entire situation and has pulled Derick from PS 107.
“I have so many feelings that I cannot even explain, because he’s only a 5-year-old,” she said. “Nobody was injured. Usually when he gets his tantrums, I live across the street from the school. I can get there in less then five minutes. Why didn’t you call me 30 minutes before he got to that point?”
A psychologist has recommended that Derick be home-schooled.
“He wakes up in the middle of the night, scared, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to go to school,'” Cabrel said.
Cabrel has also hired an attorney, and she hopes the case will bring about changes in the school system’s protocols.
“There’s got to be a better way,” attorney John O’Halloran said. “If that’s the system, we need to change that system to make it more friendly to the family and the parents.”
The principal of the school has not responded to a request for comment.
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