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Bentonville Parent Sues School District, Claims 'Negligent Leadership'

Woman says her son has been denied the proper special education he needs.
BENTONVILLE, AR (KNWA) - One Bentonville mom says her son didn't get the proper education at school but instead was sent to therapy where he was abused.

"His day consisted of being places in physical holes and seclusion," says Theresa Caldwell, an attorney for the Bentonville mom.

Strong accusations come from the Little Rock lawyer on behalf of the Bentonville parent who says the Bentonville School District deprived her 6-year-old son -- referred to as 'L' in a 31-page lawsuit -- from the proper special education he needed. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court last week.

"He was sent to TDT, and his mother was told that he could not return to the Bentonville School District," Caldwell says.

It's in TDT, also known as therapeutic day treatment, that the lawsuit  claims 'L' went through up to 250 episodes of physical restraints and seclusions at Vista health locations.

"Consequently, he had a tremendous amount of regression," Caldwell says.

Caldwell claims the school district avoided addressing behavior issues and instead suspended the child and forced him into TDT.

She also says this is an issue that's happening not only in northwest Arkansas, but around the state.

Neither the Bentonville School District nor the Vista Health Clinic, wanted to respond to the lawsuit accusations at this time.

"I hope to stop the Bentonville School District from placing any other children in Vista TDT," Caldwell says. "And I hope to stop the Department of Education from allowing centers like TDT to be in business."
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