POWAY, Calif. — A parent of a special-needs student recently requested an investigation into the past use of zip ties on harnesses to help secure his son and other students in their seats, NBC 4 reports.
Tim Rand told the Poway Unified School District school board during a board meeting that his son, Keita, has autism and has violent outbursts at times, according to the news source. A few years ago, Rand gave Keita’s bus driver permission to reinforce Keita’s harness with zip ties to prevent him from leaving his seat. However, Rand added that now there are better ways to control special-needs students on the bus, and he expressed worry over what would happen in the event of an accident, NBC 4 reports.
The district stopped using zip ties at the end of last school year after Rand notified the new superintendent, Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps, about it, according to the news source. Kim-Phelps said that an internal investigation confirmed that Keita and two other special-needs students were restrained that way and that staff and the parent agreed at the time that it was necessary. Since then, Rand has asked the superintendent and some board members questions about the practice, and was not satisfied with the answers. As a result, he addressed the issue publicly on Feb. 8, according to NBC 4. He requested “a full-on investigation,” but the superintendent said that there is nothing more to do, since the school district is no longer using the practice and has started using new safety vests.
Rand said that he doesn’t allow his son to ride the bus anymore, and drives him 80 miles round-trip to and from his school, the news source reports.
To read the full story, go here.