Parents of Colton Smith, an autistic boy who attends Eastern Elementary School, are calling for the state to mandate surveillance cameras in public school special education classrooms. The boy is non-verbal, so when he returned from school one day with a bloody nose and a black eye, he couldn’t tell his mother how it happened.
Over a year has passed since Colton’s injuries; and Daniel and Leslie Brannon, the boy’s parents, are still trying to decipher the events of that day. The boy’s first grade teacher, Janet Leeder, initially stated that Colton had tripped and fallen into a toy box. After classroom aides told school officials that wasn’t the case, Western Schools Superintendent Randy McCracken began an investigation into the incident.
It appears that Leeder had restrained Colton in a chair, using a strap or belt, and left him unattended. According to a report filed with the Greentown Police Department, Colton had tipped the chair over backward, though it’s unclear how that caused the boy’s facial injuries.
The Brannons are concerned that Leeder is teaching special education at another elementary school this year. Other parents of special needs students have expressed similar concerns and are joining the Brannons in calling for cameras in the classrooms. Read the full story here.