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Teen With Autism Dies After Being Restrained For OVER AN HOUR -- School Staff Indicted

autistic boy restrained died staff indicted

Three former employees of a California school for special needs have been indicted following the death of one of their students.

Max Benson was a 13-year-old autistic student at Guiding Hands School — a private academy for children and teens with special needs. On November 28, 2018 it’s alleged the boy became “violent” during class and because of this staff at the school restrained him. The type of restraint the employees allegedly used was a “prone restraint”. You may recognize this as a method of holding someone down, often on the ground, where their face and frontal part of their body is placed flat against a surface. This type of restraint is widely controversial and as of 2021 over 30 states have banned the use of it in schools.

Benson was allegedly held face down by staff for over 90 minutes. During this time he vomited and urinated on himself until he eventually stopped breathing. It’s alleged it took 10 minutes for a school nurse to arrive and perform CPR to revive him. It took even longer, a full half hour after he lost consciousness, for the school employees to call paramedics.

Just awful and absolutely infuriating…

The teen was transported to Mercy Hospital in Folsom, but would never recover. He ultimately succumbed to his injuries and passed two days later. He was only 13 years old. Just heartbreaking…

Related: Teen Fighting For His Life After Contracting Brain-Eating Amoeba While Swimming

A week after the boy’s death, the California Department of Education suspended the school’s certification due to its failure to notify them of the circumstances surrounding the incident. The school also violated multiple state rules regarding the use of physical restraints on students. This wasn’t the first time either — the CDE also noted several other times where people had complained about the treatment of their children there! So tragic they didn’t take these complaints more seriously…

In November of 2019, almost a year after the boy’s death, criminal charges were officially filed against the school and 3 of its former employees. The principal, staff administrator, and a teacher all faced charges of felony involuntary manslaughter. The school had officially shut down earlier the same year, but it still faced the same charges as an entity.

“Involuntary” as in willingly holding the teen’s face into the carpet while he vomited and wet himself? Well, the school’s staff did allege the boy was 6 feet tall and weighed 180 pounds in their argument, but attorneys disagreed saying he was “8 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter”. Still, if staff were allegedly able to hold him down for over an hour and a half, he probably wasn’t putting up the fight they say he was…

In an update on Monday, the three employees and the school have been indicted on their charges. A lawyer has not been identified for the school itself, but the three individuals have pleaded not guilty. If they’re convicted, they could each face up to 4 years in prison for the 13-year-old’s death. The defendants are scheduled to appear in court on September 2 for a pre-trial hearing.

Since the teen’s passing, several vigils have been held in his honor. Attendees mourned his death and have called for an end of using restraints in school systems. It’s even reported there were vigils across the globe for Benson supported by the International Coalition Against Restraint and Seclusion.

Max’s family and loved ones are well on their way to getting the justice they deserve. But is a potential sentence of 4 years for each of the people involved too light? What do U think, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below)!

[Image via YouTube/CBS Sacramento]

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Jul 27, 2022 15:07pm PDT