Letter toschool re:their poor handling of incident


Active Member
To: Mrs. Principal
cc: Mrs. Special Education Director
From: JJJ
Date: September 13, 2007
Re: Tigger

I am very concerned with staff’s inability to keep Tigger and others safe today. As you are aware, the incident started in the lunch room. Staff was unable to tell me what the initial conflict was as no members of his special education team were present with him in the lunchroom. (Problem #1). The remainder of the description of the incident comes from the conference call I had with staff: aide, assistant principal, and asst Special Education director. The lunch supervisor gave Tigger 3 minutes on the line for ‘disrespect’. Once on the line, Tigger plugged his ears and began to twirl around, according to his aide who had joined him for recess. As Tigger twirled away from the line, his aide followed him, putting her walkie-talkie radio in her pocket (Problem #2). Once near the parking lot, his aide grabbed Tigger and attempted to execute a one-person restraint. (Problem #3) Eventually joined by the special education teacher, they attempted to execute a two-person restraint but were unable to effectively do so resulting in both of them being struck. Finally, the school counselor joined them and they were able to effectively restrain Tigger at which point he calmed down and the school counselor was able to carry him into the building while conversing about various outdoor sights. At that point Tigger was calm and participating in a therapeutic discussion with the school counselor, yet staff felt unsure of their ability to keep him and themselves safe (Problem #4). You demanded that I come (Problem #5) and get Tigger and that I not reward him by “allowing him to eat ice cream” when he got home. Yet when I picked him up, he had clearly been playing with Legos, had been given a cold bottle of water and had a toy treat that he had been given (Problem #6).

As this behavior is clearly a manifestation of his disability, we need to solve these problems so that staff can be more effective in helping Tigger prevent these outburst.

Solution #1: As in his IEP, Tigger should have 1:1 supervision provided by the special education team at all times. This is particularly important during lunch and recess where his difficulty with social skills and his sensory integration issues are most challenged.

Solution #2: His aide should call for help when she feels that Tigger is headed to a dangerous situation. Instead of following him, she could have gone around him and merely blocked his path to the parking lot so that he would twirl in a different direction instead. Every effort should be made to stop the situation prior to going hands-on.

Solution #3: One person should never attempt to restrain Tigger. As I have complained on at least two other occasions, I do not feel that Tigger is being restrained properly by staff. I feel that staff is increasing the risk of injury to themselves and my son with improper restraint techniques. I request, once again, that staff be retrained on CPI and that I be allowed to attend the training. I am glad that the CPI trainers are coming next week and hope that this problem will be resolved soon.

Solution #4: If staff feels unsure of their ability to maintain my child’s safety as well as their own, either additional training needs to be provided, perhaps beyond CPI, or additional staff may need to be hired.

Solution #5: As I explained on the phone, with Tigger’s school phobia issues, sending him home is likely to spark an increase in these outbursts.

Solution #6: I resent the implication that I would treat my son to ice cream for getting in trouble at school. But since staff already “rewarded” him by allowing him to play legos, get treats and go home early, it is a moot point, yes?


Active Member
I'm planning on sending this tomorrow morning by certified mail. Please give me your input cause I'm so angry right now that I'm spitting nails.


When I read "the school counselor was able to carry him," I wondered whether he was actually carried, or he was walked/escorted. Other than that, it seems clear.

Improper restraining is serious as you know. Hope it gets worked out.


Active Member
He was carried (like a parent would carry a preschooler). Once he comes down from one of these episodes he's generally incapable of walking.



New Member
i think it is a great letter.

some much in you letter sounded like issues we had last yr. staff not diffusing but exaserbating situations and not restraining properly.

it is so nice this yr to be in a special program where they know how to deal with-kids like ours!


Roll With It
Do I understand this correctly? They restrained your son because he was twirling around with his fingers in his ears?

Does this school have any rational adults in it? They sure were not on duty that day.

Why restrain him instead of directing him to a playground or empty classroom or gymnasium?

Both the staff and our Tigger could have been hurt badly during the botched restraint. If the school is dumb enough to get hurt, tough noogies But if our Tigger is hurt we cyber-aunties are going to have a major cow!!

Your letter sounds great, sending it certified mail also seems wise.




I think the letter is very good also. I like the way you numbered the problems.

Be sure to send it certified.

The SD is asking for trouble (liability) and it isn't safe for Tigger (as you know) to have inadequate restraint procedures. That said, The incident did not have to go to restraint. The best restraint is defusing the situation via a clear plan that de-escalates the situation.

I am sorry this happened.



Active Member
I waited for their written report of the restraint and timeout which still hasn't arrived.

I added the following to the letter:

I have still not received the mandatory written report of the restraint and timeout.

I am calling for Tigger’s IEP team to reconvene to discuss his Behavior Intervention Plan, staffing needs and staff training. Based on your assertion that your staff feels incapable of keeping my son physically safe while at school, I am unilaterally placing Tigger on Homebound as of September 14, 2007 pending results of the upcoming IEP meeting.


Envelopes are ready to send certified in the AM.