Vegas Lost: A 9-year-old handcuffed

Vegas Lost: A 9-year-old handcuffed

Kayden Carter can tell you everything about Marvel movies. His favorite cartoon is Dragon Ball Z. If you ask him what the worst part of school is, his answer comes quickly; “The work.”

Kayden is your typical 9-year-old boy, until the day he was handcuffed to his desk.

“I don’t like teachers", Kayden told us. “When you see a police officer?” we asked. “I hate them", he says. “All of them.”

Kayden is a special needs student. He has ADHD and ODD, and it can be difficult to hold his attention.

When he wants something done, he wants it done immediately. He’s been picked on and bullied by other students. After one verbal fight just before Thanksgiving, teachers told his mom that Kayden was out of control. They had to call the school police. It was the third time the 9-year-old student was put in handcuffs.

Teachers and staff can restrain a student if they need to keep that student or others safe. Teachers are supposed to be trained in how to restrain them. There are legal mechanical restraints as well. It happens often. Over the last two years, thousands of students have been restrained by Clark County School employees.

There are also illegal restraints. They’re called "aversive interventions" when a staff member physically restrains a student with disabilities. Our investigation found out that happens a lot too.

Clark County School employees violated state law 64 times in 2016, 36 times in 2017, and 23 times this school year.

Each time they do it they have to tell parents and file a report with the state. That report must include a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

We wanted to know what happens to the teacher who illegal restrains a disabled child. We wanted to ask a school official but they never responded to interview requests.

State law says school employees can be suspended or have licenses revoked, the school district follows “progressive discipline” which means the third violation is when a suspension happens.

But none of that happened in Kayden’s case because he wasn’t restrained. He was handcuffed.

“He’s not a criminal", Kayden’s mom told us, “He needs help. He has a disability.”