Texas parents demand more accountability, training in Special Ed

For those who parent children challenged with disabilities, there is an ever-present fear – the fear that those charged with helping your kid will instead, hurt them.
Pam Wiley's son Josiah is just 10 years old and autistic.

"He got on the bus and started banging on the window. All of a sudden the bus assistant got up and immediately toppled onto my child which resulted in an injury, my son’s arm was broken," said Wiley.

A grown man on top of a small child. 

Experts insist kids with special needs should be allowed back in the classroom

As Texas school districts ponder the return of in-person classroom instruction, experts insist a pair of at-risk student populations should be at the first students back at school.

Houston ISD video which FOX 26 can’t share, reveals no attempt at de-escalation, just brute force, and injury inflicting violence.

"I was just in tears and as you can see right now I’m still in tears about what happened to my baby. He didn’t deserve that," said Wiley.

Dustin Rynders with Disability Rights-Texas says the educator inflicted violence suffered by Josiah is hardly an isolated incident.

"I am so tired of hearing from parents of students who have been injured in restraints at schools," said Rynders an attorney who litigates on behalf of families.

RELATED: How Houston-area school districts are handling special education amid COVID-19 pandemic

In fact, DRT has just released statewide research which reveals a widespread failure by many school districts to train those interacting with special needs students in the proper use of restraints and a refusal by many ISD’s to report physical restraints as required by federal law.

"Here in Houston we have several of the districts including Houston ISD that most under-report the restraints. The Texas Education Agency does nothing to make sure that the data that is given to them is accurate and even if a district honestly reports a very high rate of restraints, they (TEA) do nothing to make sure that the district makes efforts to bring it down," said Rynders.

DRT and thousands of parents, like Pam Wiley, are pleading with Texas lawmakers to legislate accountability and insist on training.

"I want things to change. This shouldn't happen to my child or anybody else's child. It’s not right," said Wiley.

The DRT report found 9 out of 10 restraints reported in Texas involved a child with special needs and of those, more than 25 percent were Black students.