Mom of child with autism sues Utica Schools saying son suffered injuries from being restrained

Jerbina Sturdivant says Jaylen, her 11-year-old special needs son, came home with injuries after teachers restrained him at school.

"I noticed that he had bruises on his back, bruises on both of his arms and his hand was scratched," she said.

The incident happened at Beck Elementary in Macomb last November.

"I had him show me how they had him on the floor and they had him face down in the prone position with his mouth tasting the floor," she said.

Jerbina reached out to the school about the incident, and then the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office the following day.

According to school documents Jerbina provided to FOX 2, Jaylen displayed aggressive behavior to both students and staff. They say he pulled people's hair, tried to destroy school equipment and even got a hold of a knife and fork.

In an email exchange with Jerbina, the principal said that emergency physical restraint is always the last resort when students are a danger to themselves or others.

She says a surveillance camera captured the incident Jaylen was restrained, but the school has not shown it to her.

Michael Fortner is the Sturdivant family's attorney.

"It seems there’s been a deliberate attempt to hide the video by giving misleading information to the police, and to the mother about when the incident took place - and where the incident took place," Fortner said.

The family is planning to take legal action against the district.

"If she had done it to him at home, she’d be subject to criminal penalties," Fortner said. "And we expect the same thing with the administration at the school who engaged in it or looked the other way."

The school district released a statement saying in part:

"Utica Community Schools does not respond to speculation or unfounded allegations. The district immediately takes action to investigate all allegations related to student conduct in accordance with school policies as well as state and federal guidelines.

"The district will address any and all complaints or allegations through appropriate legal channels. We have and will continue to cooperate with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department."

Jaylen has not been back to the school since that incident. The investigation is ongoing and the boy’s family plans to file the suit later this week.

Jerbina Sturdivant and son Jaylen, left.

Jerbina Sturdivant and son Jaylen, left.