Aurora Dist. 131 sued for mistreatment, injuries to student with autism
The mother of a 16-year-old boy with severe autism has sued East Aurora School District 131, arguing he was physically and emotionally injured after school officials placed him in isolation because of aggressive behavior.
The suit, filed in Kane County last month, argues the district violated the state's administrative code by placing the boy in a regular classroom where he could injure himself and also having another student present in the same room.
According to the suit, the boy, who was then 15, has had severe autism since birth that has left him unable to speak or communicate.
On March 4, he was placed in a "locked, unpadded isolation room" at Parkland Preparatory School for supposedly "aggressive" behavior, according to the suit.
The lawsuit argues school officials violated the state's administrative code by allowing another student in the same room, which was supposed to be free of items or materials the autistic student could use to harm himself.
"The enclosure in which (the autistic student) was isolated was not 'constructed of materials that cannot be used by students to harm themselves,' rather it was a room that was usually used as a classroom and had cement walls," read part of the suit. "There was no concern, for example, that (the student) might injure his head against the walls of the enclosure. At no time did anyone from the school or the defendant school district discuss with the plaintiff the need for (the student's) isolation or whether (he) would be safe from harming himself."
Scott Skaletsky, attorney for the student's mother, did not return a phone message seeking information about the teen's injuries.
The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $50,000 for injuries of "physical and emotional nature" to the boy.
District 131 spokesman Tom Jackson said the district doesn't comment on ongoing litigation.
The two sides are due in court Aug. 1.