An autistic child got his head stuck in a classroom chair, but instead of helping, the teacher recorded it. WNEM screengrab.
GOODRICH, Mich. (WNEM/CNN) - An autistic child got his head stuck in a classroom chair, but instead of helping, the teacher recorded it. It's an issue that has a whole town talking.
It's video no parent wants to see: an 11-year-old autistic child with his head stuck in a classroom chair. His fifth grade teacher, Nicole McVey, recorded it on her cell phone while the entire class stood by.
You can hear the Oaktree Elementary teacher ask him if he wants to get tasered and then the principal comes in referring to it not being an emergency. That principal resigned after the incident.
"He's in clear distress stuck in this chair. And lack of compassion, then sending this video around and replaying it after the fact is indefensible," said attorney Patrick Greenfelder.
Greenfelder was hired by the boy's family as the incident has sparked so much controversy in the community. He says the teacher is on paid administrative leave while private tenure hearings debating her future take place. Late last year the board voted to fire her.
Goodrich Superintendent Scott Bogner sent WNEM-TV this statement: "Under Michigan's tenure law that teacher has a right to a private hearing of any charges against her. The district is obligated to respect that right and will not discuss specifics of this case."
"This is really the only way they have at this point to let the community know there is more than just a teaching moment," said Greenfelder.
Greenfelder says the incident happened in November and the community has rallied behind teacher without seeing this video, and this week at the Goodrich School Board meeting, parents continue to stick by her.
"She is very compassionate. She has taught the children compassion. She has taught them how to accept others," said parent Jennifer Senish.
"She loves the children. She would never jeopardize or bully anyone," said parent Erin Raether.
"There was no instance where that teacher bullied that student. Yes, she had a sense of humor and she tried to make light of the situation," said Heather Zarembski.