NHC mom claims child handcuffed & restrained in school

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) –While federal authorities look into a civil rights complaint about seclusion rooms in New Hanover County Schools, another parent says an officer at one school used handcuffs to restrain her child.

Seclusion rooms came up earlier this month when one parent filed a complaint.

Monday night while representatives with The Autism Society talked to parents about that issue, one mom raised another concern.

Vanessa Ziegler went to Monday night's meeting to get the facts about seclusion rooms and restraints used by schools in North Carolina.

She claims an officer used handcuffs as a way to restrain her son, who has autism.

According to state law, this type of restraint is legal, but ziegler thinks the law should be changed.

"My child used to be a happy little guy," Ziegler said. "Loved anybody that he came in contact with.  Now, it's just very scared.  Because he still has thoughts of those rooms and those handcuffs, and I just think it's horrible."

Doctor Derrick Hickey with the New Hanover County School Board also attended Monday's meeting. He told parents the school board is listening to their concerns, and is waiting for the results on the investigation into the use of seclusion rooms.

He's hoping more parents will get involved to help formulate a plan that works for everyone involved.
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