Derek Marte, a special-needs kindergartner with ADHD, sometimes throws tantrums at school.
New York City's PS 107 has called Alicia Cabrel about her 5-year-old son in the past. Because she lives just across the street from the Bronx school, Cabrel usually comes over to help out when needed.
But what happened to her boy at school last week prompted the flabbergasted mom to get in touch with an attorney, WABC-TV reported.
Marte was in the gym and got upset when it was time to return to class, Cabrel told WABC. She added that the school contacted her to let her know and indicated she'd be called again if she was needed.
About a half hour later, Cabrel got that call from the school telling her Marte was out of control.
But when she entered the building, Cabrel saw officials handling her son in a way she still can't fathom.
Marte's wrists were tied behind his back and secured to a chair, WABC reported; Cabrel shot video of what she saw.
"I have so many feelings that I cannot even explain," she told the station. "He's only a 5-year-old."
New York City police told WABC the school safety agents they oversee followed protocol by tying Marte's wrists with velcro restraints and securing them to the chair.
According to the NYPD the velcro restraints are a "softer alternative to conventional handcuffs," a WABC reporter said.
The agents determined that Marte — who they said kicked, punched, threw objects, and tried to bite one of them — was a danger to himself and others, WABC reported.
"Nobody was injured," Cabrel countered, adding to WABC that when she asked the agent to show her the bite marks there were none.
A psychologist has recommended homeschooling for Marte, and Cabrel pulled her son from PS 107 after the incident.
"He wakes up in the middle of the night, scared, 'Mommy, I don't want to go to school,'" Cabrel told the station.
Cabrel's attorney insisted there must be "a better way" to handle such situations.
"If that's the system," attorney John O'Halloran told WABC, "we need to change that system to make it more friendly to the family and the parents."