The parents of a nine-year-old autistic boy say they're
angry that an Ottawa police officer used handcuffs to restrain their son
after he became aggressive at his school.
Daniel Ten Oever says a police constable acted
inappropriately by intervening to restrain his son while staff at St. Jerome
Catholic school were trying to calm him down.
"Why is she intervening with my disabled son? She doesn't
have the right skills," he said, recounting an incident earlier in the day as
he said it was related to him by school officials.
Thursday morning didn't start well for his son, says the
father. The kid was involved in an altercation with another child with autism
while they were being driven to school.
When the van carrying the children arrived at the Riverside South school,
young Daniel, who was still extremely agitated, was escorted by an educational
assistant to a special school room used to help children calm down.
He apparently did calm down momentarily, but resumed his
"bad behaviour", the father said — when released from the room.
The youngster was then taken to the principal's office, where he
became agitated again.
A number of people were in the office at the time, including
the principal, a school therapist and some educational assistants, trying to calm
him, the father said.
He says that's when, as he was told, a police
officer who happened to be in the vice-principal's office next door, came into
the principal's office and proceeded to place the boy's arms behind his back
and handcuff him.
"She took it upon herself to restrain him," said Ten Oever,
who confronted the officer after school authorities informed him of the
situation and had him come to get his son.