PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A Painesville academy which boasts their inclusive education style for children with disabilities called police Tuesday when an 8-year-old girl with special needs began throwing crayons.
The child's mom, Tiffany Smith, says she was irate when she received a call from the school principal alerting her Painesville police were at the school for her daughter's misbehavior, a symptom of her disability.
"If throwing crayons rises to the level of calling the police then we have a lot of preschoolers in prison," said Smith.
Painesville Police say they were called to Summit Academy after the principal reported he was concerned for the safety of students as well as staff.
Smith says her daughter, Khaylea Moore-El is developmentally delayed, diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She says Moore-El's Individual Education Program or IEP was not followed by school staff when her daughter began acting out in class.
According to Smith, the day began to spiral when her child was reportedly humming too loudly at school. Smith says her daughter was removed from the classroom and threatened police would be called if she did not calm down.
"He said if I don't go into the room he's going to have to call the police," said Moore-El.
Her mother, added, "She did not like it, she was threatened by police. She didn't like it, so she got upset and kicked the garbage can. She kicked the locker and threw some crayons."
This case possibly part of a larger pattern, police report 29 calls to Summit Academy in Painesville during the past three years for juvenile complaints. Smith says police were kind to her child during the incident and have been accommodating ever since.
The CEO of Summit Academy, John Guyer says he is reviewing the incident and cannot provide further comment. The school's website boasts they are a non-profit specifically designed to educate students with ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
"I'm very alarmed," said Smith whose daughter was suspended for one day. "I'm concerned and I'm worried that the police are being used as a form of discipline and intimidation to our children."
Jeffrey La Rue of The Street Consulting, who represents the school sent the following statement:
"We are not able to respond to details about individual student incidents but I can tell you that a student had a violent outburst at one of our schools yesterday. Staff felt they needed extra help deescalating the situation and they contacted the police.
The management team is still investigating the incident and, if they determine there are opportunities to improve procedures, we will implement those changes."