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Glendale Elementary School Accused of Keeping Boy in Windowless Room and Giving Him Sugar; Parents Say Kid's Allergic to Sugar

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A Glendale couple is suing the Deer Valley Unified School District, claiming staff at the boy's elementary school fed him sugar, and often kept him in a small, windowless room due to his behavior.

The boy's parents contend that the school kept giving their boy sugar -- which the boy is "severely allergic" to -- which caused behavioral issues, and ultimately, caused the boy to be locked in the small room all the time.

These "cool-down rooms" aren't uncommon at Valley schools, but according to the lawsuit -- first obtained by Courthouse News -- the boy was locked in there many times, and often without notifying his parents.

This particular one, at the Desert Sage Elementary School, is 5 feet by 6 feet, and had no furniture, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that school staff would have to forcibly bring the boy -- who was seven years old at the time -- to the room, and the school informed the parents that they'd placed the boy in this room three times.

A records request forced the district to show that the boy had been placed in the room 11 times, and the lawsuit claims that the district actually revealed the boy had been placed in there 17 times.

The boy himself says he was placed in the room four days a week for a period of five months.

The boy's parents says the school disregarded multiple complaints about the "necessity to refrain from giving him products which contained sugar, food dyes, artificial sugar, and other items to which he was severely allergic."

The boy's parents contend that it's the school's fault for giving the kid foods containing these substances, then punishing the boy for his behavior.

Other times, the boy would be physically restrained face-down on the floor, according to the lawsuit, thus "forcing him to inhale residue from carpet cleaning materials to which he is severely allergic..."

The lawsuit continues by stating that the boy wasn't allowed to use the bathroom after being locked in the room, and twice ended up urinating on himself.

According to the lawsuit, this room caused the boy to have difficulty sleeping at home, and caused him to be in a constant state of anxiety and fear while at school.

The lawsuit charges school district and unnamed employees with assault, false imprisonment, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

The parents are seeking compensatory, special, and general damages.

The entire lawsuit can be seen here, at Courthouse News.


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