By: Krystle Crossman
Five year old Connor Ruiz spent last Wednesday in handcuffs and foot shackles and now his mother is planning on taking legal action against the Philadelphia Primary School in upstate New York. She claims that the school did not call her before calling the police and did not notify her of what was going on until after the fact. Her son has an IEP in place due to a diagnosis of OCD, ADHD, and oppositional defiant disorder. The plan in place was to call Connor’s parents should he have an outburst in school if the staff cannot calm him down. She claimed that this plan was not followed through by the school last week.
Connor was having a meltdown in class. He was stabbing himself with pencils. He was eating Styrofoam in an attempt to choke himself. The teachers and staff stated that they tried to descalate the situation for over two hours before they ended up calling the state police. They were in fear for Connor’s safety and for the safety of the other children in the classroom. When the state trooper came he spoke with Connor and tried to calm him down verbally. Then he tried to restrain him using a bear hug which works with most children. When that didn’t work the trooper decided it was time to put restraints on Connor. He said that is a last resort and not something they ever want to have to do to a child that young but he felt it was necessary in this case because Connor was hurting himself and was a danger to others.
Mrs. Ruiz said that she received a call after they had decided to take her son to a mental health facility to have an evaluation. Ruiz said that she told them not to take her son anywhere and she did not give them permission to do so. They stated that they had already gotten permission from her husband over the phone. Her husband claims that they did call him but he never gave them permission. He didn’t say no either but said that if they had asked him directly he would have told them no. The Ruiz family will be pursuing legal action against the school. Mrs. Ruiz had a good talk with the trooper, he wanted to get as much information as possible. The school district superintendent stated that he could not comment more on the incident but felt that things were appropriately handled and that they were looking out for Connor and the other students.