An attorney representing the family of an 11-year-old boy with autism says a Goodrich, Mich., teacher’s response to a special needs student who got his head stuck in a chair is “indefensible.”
Rather than helping the autistic child, who attorney Patrick Greenfelder argues was clearly in “distress,” the teacher, identified as Nicole McVey, began video recording him. The incident occurred in November inside a fifth-grade classroom at Oaktree Elementary.
In the video, the teacher can be heard asking the student if he wants to get “tasered.” The principal then enters the room and announces that the situation is not an emergency. He reportedly resigned shortly after the incident sparked outrage while the teacher involved remains on paid administrative leave.
“He’s in clear distress, stuck in this chair,” Greenfelder said of the incident. “The lack of compassion — and then sending this video around or replaying it after the fact is indefensible.”
The school board recently voted to fire McVey, but the teacher is currently going through a tenure hearing to fight her termination.
In a statement, Goodrich Superintendent Scott Bogner said the teacher has a “right to a private hearing of any charges against her” under Michigan’s tenure law.
Even after seeing the video, some parents are still standing behind McVey, WNEM-TV reports. The 11-year-old boy was apparently stuck in the chair for 10 to 15 minutes.
“Attorney Greenfelder has told [WNEM-TV] that the video was distributed to not just school staff, but to the friends of the principal and teacher who were not school staff. He says this is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and contradicts the argument that this was a ‘teaching moment,’” the report adds.
Greenfelder said the family is considering filing a lawsuit against the school district but wants to see how the tenure hearings go first.
TheBlaze Radio's Doc Thompson will talk to the boy's father on his Friday radio show, starting at 6 a.m. ET.