Parents: School’s Forced Neck Brace Caused Son’s Death

The Daily Mail reports that the school of a special needs student is being sued amidst claims from his parents that the actions of a teacher at the school in forcing the student to wear a neck brace constituted an act abuse and contributed to his death.

Aaron Hatcher, who had muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, could not speak or walk. His father Ronald, from Atlanta, Georgia, claims a teacher at Roswell High School forced the teen to wear a homemade neck brace, causing physical and mental suffering.

The family's attorney, Mr. Sauls, further explained that the brace when tightened caused an obstruction in the child's breathing, and that this was major factor in his death last year. Several emergency room trips resulted from the use of the unapproved neck brace but the parents claim that the teacher in question continued to force its use on Aaron despite being informed of the harm it was causing.

[The teacher] fastened this neck brace not for any medical reason, but to force his neck in a position to look at her,' Mr Sauls told
‘In turning his head in this position, it restricted his airway,' he added. ‘In essence, it stopped him from breathing.'

The teacher in question has been named as Katherine Durden.

The lawsuit filed by the family names numerous defendants including the school district and claims that abuse was also suffered at Aaron's middle school 6 years ago. The teacher accused from that school, Melanie Pickens, has since had her teacher's license revoked for abusing students.

According to the lawsuit, the family seeks compensatory and punitive damages for assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, negligent hiring and retention, constitution violations, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act and several Georgia state laws

Fulton County Schools refuses to comment on the case.

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