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School Did Not Violate Boy's Civil Rights During Restraints, Jury Says
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 3, 2003

VISTA, CALIFORNIA--A jury ruled Wednesday that San Marcos school employees did not violate the civil rights of an 8-year-old boy when they forcibly restrained him in his special education classroom, the San Diego Tribune reported.

The decision ends a four-week trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by the boy's mother against the San Marcos Unified School District. Neither the mother nor the son were identified in the news report.

Jurors heard that the boy, who has developmental disabilities, was restrained by special education teachers and aides face down on the floor or was taken by force from the classroom 145 times over a six-month period in 2000.

The boy's mother bristled when lawyers for the school district said her son was "out of control" and "extremely psychotic."

School officials said that the boy was loud and obnoxious, he refused to cooperate with staffers and often soiled his pants. At times he threatened to throw his feces at teachers, aides and fellow students, school officials said.

"He's not a monster," the mother said outside the courtroom. "He's not a psychotic crazed animal. He's a sweet, special boy."

Her lawyer said jurors told him privately that they didn't approve of the way the boy was treated, but were concerned about hurting school finances.

The mother said the lawsuit was not about money. "It was about the way they treated my son," she explained.

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