OSPI also saw a violation, and the mother is pursuing a lawsuit as well
SUMAS — The mother of a former Sumas Elementary School student accuses staff there of mistreating her son.
Lisa Kolbert told King 5 TV she received a phone call from a whistleblower in September and was told her son, Joseph, who is deaf and autistic, had been restrained by school staff and strapped to a chair for hours at a time.
Kolbert has hired a lawyer and is pursuing legal action against the Nooksack Valley School District, the station reported.
In 2015, a state law was passed not allowing educators to restrain students unless there is an “imminent likelihood of serious harm.”
Nooksack Valley School District Superintendent Mark Johnson defended the district.
“We are confident in the staff at Sumas Elementary. They provide a professional and loving environment where children thrive,” he said in a statement. “I would be proud to have my children in the life-skills program, or any program, in Sumas Elementary.”
Kolbert also filed a complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and an investigation was completed in November.
OSPI said the school district was in violation for using a belt to restrain Kolbert’s son and for not reporting that the restraint occurred.