Princeton House Charter School, which this spring settled a lawsuit alleging abuse of a student, has been sued by a second family.
In the new suit, two parents, identified only by their initials, say that their 6-year-old daughter was badly bruised while being restrained at the school in January and that she was grabbed and dragged by staff in November.
The Orlando school, which serves students with moderate to severe autism, in spring settled a 2010 suit that alleged a 15-year-old boy was injured by staff. A settlement of $74,465.74 was placed into a special-needs trust for Rose and Lawrence Casto's son, Christopher, and the parents were awarded an additional $20,000...
"They just abused my son, hiding behind the word 'restraint,'" Rose Casto said at the time. Restraint is a controversial practice of physically holding students with disabilities when they act out...
The new lawsuit, which was filed in federal court this month, also centers on the use of restraint.
In the January incident, the lawsuit alleges that the student suffered extensive bruising after a staff member pulled her sweater over the back of a special wooden chair. The chair, known as a Rifton chair, is intended to support and hold students who can't sit well on their own...
In the November incident, the same child was forced into a fabric tunnel, which made her panic, and later was dragged and forced onto a trampoline during a class activity, the lawsuit alleges. The suit says the staff at the school were not properly trained and that the school knew of "the unlawful abuse, restraint and seclusion of its special-needs students" and failed to act...
However, Daniel Cotter, an attorney for the girl's family, said the suit also aims to draw attention to what he called "systemic problems at this institution."...
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Princeton House Charter School
“Princeton House charter faces second restraint lawsuit; Family says staff 'abused,' 'humiliated' and frightened their 6-year-old daughter, who was bruised while being restrained.” Orlando Sentinel (FL), 7/29/2011