Father wants answers after son leaves school with fractured jaw

HOUSTON – Al Durrell said a photo of his son being carried upside down through the hallway at Wilson Montessori School by three school administrators is one of three pieces of evidence he has from Aug. 25.

Durrell said his son, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and epilepsy, was involved in an incident at the school that escalated. Durrell said his son ended up with a fractured jaw after three school administrators intervened and picked him up by his feet. He said the photo the district gave him offers him an incomplete view of what happened and has left him with more questions than answers.

“I do not want to sue somebody who is not culpable here. I just want to know what happened to my son and how he was hurt and HISD has spent thousands of dollars to prevent me from finding out,” Durrell said.

As part of his investigation, Durrell said, he wanted to see a copy of the videotape and had to get the courts involved in order to do so. After a judge ruled in his favor, he said the Houston Independent School District appealed and that he was later told by the district that it no longer had the surveillance tape.

Instead, HISD provided him with three photos.

On Tuesday, after a closed session hearing that lasted well over an hour, school board members decided the school district should pay for all past medical expenses, including therapy, for Durrell's son.

“I'm appreciative of the fact that they acknowledged that some mistakes were made here. What they have offered, though, ignores the larger issue of what is happening HISD-wide with retention of videotapes and injuries to children and their policies and procedures for handling what to do when children are injured,” Durrell said.

Durrell requested that HISD re-train personnel at the school regarding the handling of behavior incidents and excessive use of force. He also requested that additional staff be trained to deal with emotional disturbances and ADHD at the school.

HISD officials said they cannot comment on pending litigation.

Durrell said he plans to appeal the school's board’s decision.

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