ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - While schools say it is sometimes necessary, some parents say Albuquerque Public Schools are taking it too far having kids with disabilities forcibly restrained, cuffed and charged.
That is why an attorney is pursuing a class action lawsuit against the district.
"When they attempt to restrain these children, teachers may inadvertently get hit by a child," said attorney Joe Kennedy. "We don't think [the children] are criminals, and we don't think they should be charged in criminal cases and arrested and taken out of school."
The lawsuit is against APS, the Board of Education and the District Attorney's office.
It claims APS is criminalizing disabilities by prosecuting students for acting out as a result of their disabilities.
The suit also says students are being improperly restrained because different disabilities call for different calming methods.
The suit mentions three students — all criminally charged — including an 11-year-old Roosevelt Middle School student who was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.
But school board President Marty Esquivel says the lawsuit has no merit.
"Our teachers are properly trained to deal with these situations, and they are trained to take the least intrusive or least combative steps," Esquivel said.
Some started questioning the policy at APS schools for dealing with students with disabilities back in 2010 when surveillance cameras caught a teacher and education assistant slamming a teen against a wall. Then, there was an outcry almost two years later when an APS police officer handcuffed a 7-year-old autistic boy to a chair.
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