A student with autism has tragically died after being restrained by teachers at a special needs school in Texas.
21-year-old Xavier Hernandez was rushed from Boulevard Heights to a hospital where he passed away. Doctors haven’t yet determined the cause of death but his grieving family firmly believe that he didn’t die from natural causes.
Hernandez’s heartbroken aunt, Ebonie Baltimore, told the Fort Worth Star Telegram: “Someone is responsible for his death. We need to know what happened to him.”
Because of Hernandez’s severe autism, he had to be in the presence of school staff all the time. His family insists that someone knows what happened to the 21-year-old and Baltimore claims that the school does not want to provide all information.
A spokesperson told Fort Worth Star Telegram that a school employee restrained the student before emergency services were called but wouldn’t say whether the restraint was linked to his death.
Disability Rights Texas is now investigating reports that the restraints used were unnecessary and improper.
The family are now awaiting autopsy results which they believe will shed more light on what really happened. They told Fort Worth Telegram that they are ready to contact attorneys to pursue legal action against the school if necessary.
According to Texas state law, schools must notify a guardian or a parent within 24 hours if they had to restrain a student.
Even though Boulevard Heights called Herdandez’ family right away, the school is under investigation for not reporting another restraining incident to a fourth-grade student’s parents.
In a video captured by a bystander, Toni Crenshaw was pinned down by six school employees on May 7. Her mother, Sandra Crosby, told Fort Worth Star Telegram that they only learned of the incident after the clip went viral on social media.
“It did something to my soul,” Crosby expressed. “I had a long talk with my baby and let her know it’s never OK for this to happen.”
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