Bill would put restrictions on student restraints

A Rhode Island lawmaker is calling for an end to some of the techniques used to subdue students in state institutions.

Rep. Eileen Naughton, D-Warwick, said Tuesday she sees most of the restraints being used on developmentally challenged students and finds the techniques lacking.

"The restraints are really barbaric and often done by untrained individuals. And the child or the adult is placed in a padded-type closet. This is really traumatic," she said.

Annabelle Alexander claims her 13-year-old son had his arm broken by staff during a restraint at the Harmony Hill School on June 1.

The boy was placed at the school after he repeatedly ran away from group homes.

According to the incident report, the boy refused orders from the staff, and staff restrained him. According to the report, "youth assaulted staff by punching another staff in the face".

The boy ended up on the floor.

According to the incident report, "youth was given an ice pack. No injuries sustained."

They were wrong. The next day the boy's broken arm was set at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Alexander told NBC 10 she has contacted a lawyer and wants to file a civil lawsuit against the school.

"I'm hoping through behavior interventions and developing communications skills we can prevent 96 percent of the need to restrain individuals," Naughton said.

Naughton's bill and Alexander's claim are unrelated.