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'Bad kid' box incident prompts Wood schools review

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Special education issues in Wood County schools will be reviewed following an incident in which a teacher placed a box labeled "bad kid fort" around a student.

Media outlets report that the county Board of Education pledged the review at its regular meeting Tuesday. Board members also apologized for the incident.

Beth Dean and Jeff Richards say a social studies teacher at Parkersburg High School placed the cardboard box around their 15-year-old son's seat because of his behavior in the classroom. The teen has Asperger's syndrome.

Dean told the board Tuesday that she believes her son's civil rights were violated. She also alleged that the teacher abused and humiliated him.

She said her son did not receive the full services of his individual education plan.

"He's just one student. Just my kid," she said.

Several other parents told the board about problems with their children's individual education plans.

Board member Jim Fox, who noted his child needs an individual education plan, said the problem was not limited to the parents who addressed the board.

Fox said Parkersburg High and county school administrators have addressed the incident involving Dean and Richards' son. But he said the board cannot comment on personnel matters.

Board member Lawrence Hasbargen, a former school administrator, said no child should experience the humiliation of the "bad kid fort." But he said there is the "other side of the coin."

"Teachers are in a room with 30 pupils, some with special needs," he said. "It's difficult to meet those needs in a 45-minute block. It's not an excuse. It's a fact of life."

Board member Tad Wilson called for the creation of a task force to study how special education services can be expanded and their delivery improved.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press