Police announced that two school employees, a 31-year-old teacher identified as Carina and her 39-year-old aide identified as Taylor, are facing charges following an incident involving a 7-year-old student with autism. The charges have raised serious concerns about the safety and treatment of students, particularly those with special needs, within the educational system.
The incident where the school employees tied the nonverbal child to a chair with a walking rope led to charges of false imprisonment against the school employees. Additionally, Carina faces a simple battery charge. The situation came to light when security footage of the incident was reviewed, showing the child restrained for approximately an hour. This footage played a crucial role in the subsequent police investigation and the charges filed. A press release reads, “The child sat on the ground behind the chair, restrained, for approximately one hour. At various times in the video, Carina and Taylor were observed sitting on the chair, appearing to use their weight to keep the child from getting free.”
When interviewed by authorities, Carina said she had been teaching for seven years—two years at her current school. Carina also said she had been using the method of tying students with a walking rope since the beginning of the school year in order to move from locations within the school. During the interview, she told detectives that the boy had once tried to leave the school but only made it as far as the parking lot. When an investigator pressed her about whether she was trained to restrain children, she answered that she was. According to the affidavit, Carina told authorities that “this was done if the child is in danger of being a harm to themselves or others.”
Following her arrest, Carina was released on bond, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Taylor. A hearing for Carina is scheduled for March 6. The boy’s mother expressed her shock and distress upon learning of her son’s treatment. Discovering that her child, who is nonverbal and unable to communicate his experiences, had been subjected to such restraint has led to a call for accountability and reassurances that such practices will not be tolerated.