Boy with autism claims he was restrained at Fayetteville elementary school

September 28, 2018

Tyler Mercier (Photo: Facebook courtesy)

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating allegations that a student with autism who attends Mary McArthur Elementary School in Fayetteville was roughed up by teaching assistants who were trying to restrain the boy.

Joesph Glegola said he can’t believe what allegedly happened to his stepson, Tyler Mercier, at the school on Tuesday.

Glegola was called by school officials after the boy’s teacher said the 11-year-old student had a meltdown and had to be physically restrained. Glegola said he found his stepson in the school bathroom with a bloody nose.

“He came out of the bathroom (with) blood coming out of his nose,” Glegola said. “He said, ‘Dad, they threw me around. They threw me around.’”

The fifth-grader says he was tossed around by two male teaching assistants who were in his room.

The boy suffered multiple cuts and bruises on his back, face and neck, his stepfather said.

Glegola also said Tyler was cut when a cord he was holding onto was ripped from his hand.

School officials issued a written statement about the incident.

“As always, our top priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff,” school officials said. “Although we are unable to address the details of the investigation due to student privacy and personnel laws, all allegations are being thoroughly investigated, and the district will respond appropriately.”

The boy’s parents say, at this point, they’re not ready to send their child back to school.

“No, he’s not going back to school until this investigation is over,” Glegola said. “Until we can make sure that our son is going to be safe.”

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