DALLAS - The family of a 7-year-old boy with special needs wants answers about why their child was handcuffed at school.
A photo of the child in handcuffs went viral. Dallas ISD responded that the restraints were used to prevent the child from hurting himself. But the family says that doesn't explain everything.
The 7-year-old boy is once again in the custody of his family. His mother, grandmother and their attorney got the news of his release Monday afternoon.
The family says now comes the task of demanding answers about what happened on May 9 at Gabe B. Allen Charter School to warrant handcuff on their little boy.
The photo has circulated and drawn tons of attention on social media of the 7-year old student in handcuffs standing between two DISD police officers.
His mother says she was called to go pick up her son from his school last Tuesday. She says it had become a familiar routine as her son is a special needs student and often has episodes causing him to act out. But last week, she says administrators told her he'd been taken to a mental facility to prevent harm to himself and to others.
DISD says it cannot discuss specifics due to student privacy laws, but the district sent a communication to parents in wake of the viral photo on social media.
"The image you may have seen posted is of a student while he is being restrained to protect himself against any further harm," the statement said. "We ask for your help during this period to not continue to spread misinformation."
The boy's family and their attorney say the district did not follow protocol allowing their involvement.
"My son was acting up, which he does every other day. My son was running, which he does every other day. My son was saying absurdities, which he does every other day. And just like every other day, I was called to go and pick him up that morning on a Tuesday morning. When I got there, 'Where's my baby?' 'Oh, he's not here.'"
It's unclear why the 7-year-old was not immediately released to his family until Monday, six days after the incident. Their attorney says they've been told he was just released because it's been determined he no longer posed a threat to himself after intervention efforts.
The family's attorney says they have requested a detailed account of what took place on May 9. They also have questions about whether the staff in place had proper training to handle their son's well known special needs issues.