SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Ten days after a Woodlake Elementary Mother got a phone call from a Rivers Unified School District Police Officer to come to campus, she’s at a Sacramento park with her 8 year-old son riding scooters.

Holly Davis told CBS13 the January 18th phone call was something she said she never experienced before. Typically, when school administrators at her son’s elementary school needed her to deescalate situations over the phone or in person, they would ask. This time, she said, they didn’t.

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“I heard him screaming from the hallway of the school, all the way out in the parking lot, I didn’t know what was going on. It scared me,” said Davis.

According to incident notes provided by the Twin Rivers Unified School District, in an Individualized Education Program meeting, Braiden refused to start iREADY work, a test assessment.

Davis told CBS13 Braiden has ADHD, adjustment disorder, anxiety, and Chiari malformation, “He’s a cool kid,” she said.

In two pages of notes with details of the incident, emailed to Davis on Jan. 27th, TRUSD outlines the time between when Braiden arrived to the classroom at 9:30 a.m. to when Davis arrived to campus and he was restrained for 22 minutes.

Braiden begins to hurl things at class from file cabinet (kleenex boxes, radio).  Items on top of file cabinet removed.  Braiden tries to push through staff.  Staff blocks and prompts Braiden for a break or to sit calmly in space.  Braiden says he will do his work, so his computer is offered again.  He is given choice to do computer on floor, while standing at file cabinet or in room 26.  He yells at staff and starts punching IF.

More than 30 minutes after the incident began, the district notes say the Principal asked the BIA if “she’s ready to restraint” and when she said yes, the notes say, they performed a, “two man sitted restraint by putting arms under Braiden’s, rotating and sliding down wall.  Once seated they put their inside legs over Braidens.”

“She lost her patience, it was a power struggle, that’s how I feel. That’s what I saw,” said Davis.

Davis said she later learned that restraint lasted 22 minutes. Too long, for her, and for advocate Dr. Robert Closson.

“Each and every case they’re embarrassed, they’re humiliated, they’re stripped of what little is left of their dignity. It has emotional impacts, psychological, behavioral impacts, — none of it good,” Closson told CBS13.

Davis told CBS13 when she arrived, and could see her son was held in a restraint, the administrators did not let go.

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“The police officer behind me said, let go and that’s when they finally let go,” said Davis.

She was also concerned about the placement of Braiden, against a brick wall, because he has a Chiari malformation on the back of his skull, that she said, can be dangerous.

“Nor do you hold a child down for 22 minutes,” said Davis.

Davis said she has arranged for Braiden to start a new school and will be establishing a Behavioral Intervention Assessment to put her, his teachers, and school administration on the same page to address the source of some behaviors.

She said she does not celebrate or condone his behaviors in situations like this, but said the answer is not to restrain her son.

“It’s not okay. We’re doing what we can to give him the skills to deescalate himself,” said Davis. 

Getting Answers from Twin Rivers Unified School District

The following are responses provided to CBS13 from the TRUSD Director of Communications Zenobia Gerald. 

Is the district investigating an incident at Woodlake Elementary School earlier this month where a student was restrained?

The District’s first priority is the safety and well-being of all students and staff. We are aware of the situation and actively investigating. Although the District is not at liberty to release details regarding individual students, Twin Rivers Unified follows all state and federal laws in working with students. The District takes its responsibility to train and review all staff incidents involving students very seriously to ensure all staff have acted in accordance with the law and training protocols.

Can you provide a link or guide of the school’s protocols that are implemented in situations like this that school leaders follow?

The District provides training that exceeds the legal requirement with a focus on strategies to de-escalate behavior.

Does the school’s Principal hold a Education Specialist Instruction Credential?

School administrators require an Administrative Services Credential.

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Has there been other incidents, that required a student to be restrained, at this school site before this month?

This is the only one at the school this year.