10/23/2014

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Concerned mom: Incident with special-needs student 'big, big deal'

Concerned mom: Incident with special-needs student 'big, big deal'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Bakersfield City School District is investigating an incident at an elementary school that may have resulted in the improper restraint of a special-needs student, according to an official.

Mother Esmeralda Diaz said she received a call Monday from a school official, who told her they discovered that her 6-year-old daughter had been put in a special chair with a seat belt and placed in a bathroom connected to the class after exhibiting behavioral issues.

The incident took place at McKinley Elementary on 4th Street in central Bakersfield.

"They told me they found out the teacher tied up my daughter in the bathroom, so they told me today that the police was going to go to school," Diaz said.

A police investigation found "no criminal wrongdoing," according to the police official.

Diaz said she was worried about her daughter's safety when she received the call.

"I'm scared, because she knows how to take off her seat belt and she will get hurt in the bathroom," she said.

Federal laws prohibit the school district from commenting on personnel and student matters. The district would not comment on whether the teacher involved will continue to work during the investigation.

Diaz said she spoke with the teacher on the phone once since the incident.

"For him it's not a big deal," Diaz said. "But for me, yeah, we're the parents. But, for us, it's a big, big deal."

Diaz said she is considering legal action and will no longer be sending her daughter to the school.

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