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Trainer Fired For Resisting Probe In Teen's Restraint-Related Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 21, 2005

ATLANTA, GEORGIA--A training supervisor at a state-run youth facility has been fired for failing to cooperate with officials investigating the restraint-related death of a 13-year-old boy.

The Associated Press reported that Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases director Gwen Skinner dismissed Sam Shoemaker after he refused to take a lie-detector test as part of the state's internal investigation into the teen's death.

Travis Parker died on April 21 after being restrained facedown for more than an hour by counselors at the Appalachian Wilderness Camp. Parker, who had asthma, was also denied his inhaler during the incident.

An autopsy later determined that his death was caused by the restraint.

Six camp counselors have been charged with murder in Parker's death.

The counselors involved in the death told investigators that they were just doing what they had been trained by Shoemaker to do.

Shoemaker had reportedly said that the prone restraint technique had been taught at the facility for at least the past 17 years.

Director Skinner, however, has said that the facedown restraints were not allowed. Officials had hoped the polygraph test would have helped resolve some of the conflicts between Shoemaker's statements and those of others involved in the case.


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