Parent says Bryan Co. School System failed to communicate after teacher restrained autistic child

Parent says Bryan Co. School System failed to communicate after teacher restrained autistic child
Hunter English (Source: Family)
Hunter English (Source: Family)

BRYAN CO., GA (WTOC) - When you send your child to school you trust that the school system will keep your child safe. But what happens when your child tells you it's the teacher who hurts them and the school doesn't tell you about it?

A Bryan County father said it was heartbreaking to see his autistic son who loved school start to hate it without knowing why, until one day the child broke down.

Hunter English is a fun loving 6-year-old who loves to sing and loved attending kindergarten at McAllister Elementary School. However, his mood abruptly changed in March.

"We'd have to drag him out of the car. I don't want to go to school, I hate school, school is over, I quit and so we started to question him about why don't you like school anymore. And he said it's because my teacher hurts me," Matthew Frost, Hunter's father, said.

Frost says he and his wife immediately went to the school to learn more about these claims.

"I tried to get answers from them about what had happened, especially after the teacher had resigned. And they told me they weren't allowed to tell me anything for confidentiality reasons," Frost said.

But what a school staff member claimed the teacher did, horrified him.

"Standing on his feet and pushing him around, pulling him, and pulling his hands behind his back and pushing him down the hallway," Frost said.

The Bryan County School System handbook states, "each time physical restraint is used with a child the parent of that child will be notified in writing within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed one school day from the use of restraint."

It took several phone calls and emails to get Bryan County School officials to respond to questions about this case.

When asked, "What part of the established procedure was broken?"

Brad Anderson, the Bryan County Schools assistant superintendent replied, "Notification of restraint and by a staff member who was not trained in proper physical restraint."

Frost also turned to the Bryan County Sheriff's Office for help and answers.  The investigation revealed the teacher involved told school officials the student, "was in the process of trying to harm another student and she was trying to stop it from happening, but that it wasn't forceful."

"If that was the case then I understand why he was restrained but I' m supposed to be notified in writing of the incident, how long it took place, who was involved and what exactly happened in 24 hours in writing," Frost said.

If you're wondering if the teacher who was not trained in restraint was disciplined, the answer is no.  The Bryan County School System says, "consequences vary depending on the situation, but additional training was utilized in this situation."

"I still don't know what happened to my son or why he's scared to go to school or why he has nightmares at night," Frost said. "I want to know what happened to my kid. Is there anything I can do to help him develop behaviorally in the future, so we can prevent these types of outbursts from happening again if that is what happened."

Scott continued, "I just want the school to be transparent with me the way they're supposed to be."

The Bryan County School System says the teacher involved resigned before the incident occurred and they would not tell me if she's moving out of state.

As for Hunter, unfortunately, his parents tell me they transferred him to another school, but he still doesn't want to go back.

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