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Student with autism handcuffed to chair at elementary school

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A 9-year-old special needs student was recently handcuffed to a chair at an elementary school in Louisiana. 

His mother, Shrena Henderson, was heading to Monroe when she got the call to come pick Zykayden up.

“I noticed he was in the classroom by himself, four adults surrounding him and he doesn’t have on shoes and he is foaming on the mouth,” said Henderson. 

It was the end result of an episode, Zykayden says, started after he didn’t want to do his math work. 

“I had started throwing stuff and writing on a table then they called the principal and the principal called the police,” the boy said. 

It’s something his mother said never should have happened. 

“You handcuff my kid to a chair?” said an upset Henderson who wants her questions answered. “What was logical about that?”  

WFLA’s sister station reached out to the principal at Winnsboro Elementary School. He directed them to the Franklin Parish School Superintendent Lanny Johnson. When they called to his office, they were told he was out sick for the day. While filming video of the school, a police officer came and told our sister station the school called and requested they leave the property. 

According to the school’s documents, Zykayden tried to headbutt and hit teachers. At that point, Winnsboro Police Chief Willie Pierce said his officer took the appropriate actions, despite the department not having a policy for handling special needs students.

“If we stand back and watch that child continue to do what he is doing, someone is going to get injured. We are here to prevent anyone from being injured. Him being placed in handcuffs did not hurt that child,” said Pierce. 

Henderson said her child is traumatized and accommodations should be made for kids with disabilities. Henderson said Zykaden was suspended for five days and she is now planning to homeschool him. 

She has a pending case against the Winnsboro Police Department and believes this was an act of retaliation. Chief Pierce said that is untrue. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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