LPS Officials to Further Address 'Seclusion Room' Allegations Tonight
At the start School Committee's meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Cary Hall, Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash is expected to address allegations that a kindergartner with special needs was locked in a closet six years ago.
A former Lexington resident's allegations that his daughter was locked in a basement closet with padded walls six years ago as a kindergartner in the Lexington Public Schools have taken the town by storm over the past few days.
Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash issued a statement Monday night in response to the allegations, first published by the New York Times over the weekend. And the schools chief is expected to have more to say at the start of the School Committee's meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Cary Hall.
School Committee Chairwoman Margaret Coppe first said Ash would address the allegations in an email last night to Patch. She reiterated the statement this afternoon on Yahoo discussion group popular with residents.
Bill Lichtenstein claims his then 5-year-old daughter entered the Lexington school system as a pre-schooler with speech and language delays. By Kindergarten, she was prone to violent tantroms and, according to Lichtenstein, as part of her IEP she would be removed from the classroom setting to a "timeout room" the father claims was nothing more than a storage closet with mats on the walls.
In his Sept. 10 statement, Ash challenged Lichtenstein's allegations, saying the district's notes about the student in question, written on the days in question, do not reflect the allegations. Ash further states that his review of those logs and "based on the detailed contemporaneous notes I read, I found that staff members followed district protocol."
Lichtenstein fired back this morning, however, releasing a statement of his own along with documents that were part of his family's case against the Lexington Public Schools. The sides settled in 2009.
"I defy anyone to read them," Lichtenstein wrote of the documents, "Particularly the 20-page 'Parents Proposed Findings of Fact and Rulings of Law,' which details what happened to Rose and the underlying legal issues in that matter, and say that what happened here was anything less than unconscionable. It was not."