EDUCATION

Santa Fe Teacher Who Dragged Blind Student Down Hallway Now On Administrative Leave

12/05/2012 12:51 pm ET | Updated Dec 05, 2012

Surveillance video showing two teachers dragging a blind 6-year-old by the legs has gone viral and outraged online viewers -- and has now brought action from the school district.

In the video, a special education teacher grabs the boy by his ankles and drags him down a hallway on his back. A second teacher joins in to take the boy's other leg as a third watches from behind.

The Santa Fe educator at primarily responsible for the incident has been placed on administrative leave from the Gonzales Community School, police told KOB.

The teacher told police she physically moved the the boy because he didn't want to go to another classroom when told to do so, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Sgt. Andrea Dobyns of the Santa Fe Police Department said officials do not believe there was malintent.

"We don't believe the teacher was intentionally trying to hurt the child, but our problem is the blatant neglect for his safety," Dobyns told KOB.

The boy has complained about head pain after the incident, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, and both teachers who laid hands on the student face child abuse charges. Live witnesses could face misdemeanor charges for failing to report the incident, the paper reports.

Dozens of families across the country have filed complaints against schools and districts for employing physical disciplinary tactics that have injured or killed children. In an incident much like the one in Santa Fe, a Georgia teacher was caught on surveillance video slapping and dragging a kindergartener across the school gym. That teacher was allowed to keep her job after a 30-day unpaid suspension.

According to a federal report released in March, schools physically restrained students 39,000 times during the 2009-2010 school year, and 70 percent of those cases involved students with special needs. Just 17 states have laws that specifically limit the use of physical discipline.

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