The Seattle school is accused of cageing a child with special needs.



A school in Seattle was beaten for allegedly placing a black second grader with special needs in a padlocked schoolyard cage.

View Ridge Elementary School in 2019 kept the then-8-year-old student in an outdoor fenced-in room for hours, leaving him to have lunch alone on the floor with no seat or table, the suit claims.

“The doors to the cage area were secured from the outside with a padlock chain in the direction of Principal (Ed) Roos,” said the lawsuit.

“There was no alternative exit.”

Other students and passers-by passed the child known as D.J.W. “Like an animal in a zoo,” said the suit.

The child’s mother, who has since moved to another school, looks for unspecified damage, but tells KUOW that he was traumatized by the experience.

Back to school concept. School empty classroom, lecture hall with desks and chairs made of ironwood for teaching in high school Thailand without young students, interior of the secondary school
Ed Roos, principal of View Ridge Elementary School, resigned during a 2020 investigation while the child has since moved out of school.
Getty Images / iStockphoto

Ed Roos, the headmaster at the time, has since resigned. An investigation report into the “cage” last year said that district officials were using the space in order.

At the time, kindergarten teacher Jaquelyn Flaherty told the outlet that she was particularly concerned to see the treatment of the student identified by his middle name, Jaleel, for being one of the few black children in a predominantly white, affluent school.

“I’ve never seen a child locked up in an area like this in all these years,” said Flaherty. “It was like a cage.”

Following a complaint from Flaherty, the school district opened an investigation and KUOW reported that Roos told investigators the room was “a comforting area” for the student because he was being recalcitrant and cursing the staff.

According to the report, the student was kept in the room for sometimes leaving the school premises.

Empty classroom with no students
Roos reportedly claimed the area was a “calming area” due to the student’s unruly behavior.
Getty Images

“The boy, although he may have a complex educational image, is still eligible for an education,” Seth Rosenberg, a family lawyer, told the Washington Post.

“If the school can’t meet his needs, they’ll have to pay to have him go elsewhere.”

The idea was first made by a staff member in the special education department, the radio station reported.

A school district spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Post on Tuesday.


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