A 14-year-old girl’s mother is suing a Colorado school district for discrimination after she said her child was denied a request to use the bathroom and restrained by school officials.
On March 3, 2020, a girl with autism referred to as Jane Doe in the lawsuit asked to use the bathroom but was told by a teacher at Boltz Middle School that she needed to wait, according to the complaint filed on Monday. The school is part of Poudre School District and is located in northern Colorado.
Jane has significant cognitive disability, is limited verbally and suffers from seizures, the lawsuit states. After she was told to wait, Jane pulled down her pants and was punished by being taken to a “time-out room,” where she soiled herself, according to the lawsuit.
Jane reportedly threw her feces and smeared it over the room, and her mother said the teachers restrained her, leaving a “rug burn the size of a hockey puck on her lower back.” The teachers said that Jane started kicking and tried to bite one of them when they tried to get Jane cleaned up.
According to Jane’s mother, one of the teachers texted her that “Jane had a weird bump on her lower back we noticed when she was getting a shower.”
Jane later told her mother that she was injured when one of the teachers grabbed her by the wrists and pulled her across a mat, the lawsuit states.
Colorado law states that “restraint and seclusion must never be used as a punishment or disciplinary sanction” unless there is “serious, probable, imminent threat of bodily harm to self or others.”
Jane’s mother’s lawyer Igor Raykin said in a news release that Jane wasn’t a threat and that “her restraint essentially was an assault.”
“Poudre School District takes the safety and well-being of all our students and staff seriously,” the district said in a statement, KDVR reported.
“The district does not comment on confidential student matters. PSD determined that staff followed appropriate district policies and procedures. Generally, we can confirm that Fort Collins Police Services investigated this situation in 2020 and found no wrongdoing on behalf of the school district.“