HARRODSBURG, KY (WAVE) – The Mercer County woman who accused teachers of stuffing her child with autism into a draw string bag spoke to the school board in hopes of getting answers. Sandra Baker presented a petition with nearly 170,000 signatures from across the world which asks that the teachers involved be disciplined and says more training is needed.
Baker went before the Mercer County School Board urging that something be done, but now the school is speaking out saying that her allegations may not be the truth.
"Imagine the teacher struggling to get the knot undone to get your son out of the bag," Baker told the board. "This is what happened to my son Christopher last month."
It's been more than month since Baker says she walked into her 9-year-old son's school in Mercer County and witnessed him stuffed inside a bag.
"I want the abuse to stop," said Baker. "No child should have to be put in a bag and tied up and threw in the hall like trash and that's how my son was treated."
On Thursday comments on both sides of this issue were shared with the Mercer County School Board.
"As a mother of child that is on the autism spectrum, I am very concerned over the policies in place for the areas of restraint to calm a child," said Lori Wells as she spoke to the school board.
"The teachers in the Mercer County School System are highly skilled professionals," said Wilma Thomas, Mercer County Education Association President.
Outside of the school, Baker says she was excited to share the thousands of pages of written support, but inside the mood was much different, as supporters of the school made it known.
"As members of this community, I challenge you to support our schools," said Thomas. "Do not allow them to become targets of disrespect or rumor."
"A lot of people think that I am blowing this out of proportion, I don't," said Baker.
"The information being conveyed to the general public is not consistent with the evidence available to the school district administrator's," said Jim Stinnett, Mercer County School Board Chair.
Because of privacy laws, the school district says they are not able to comment about the specific incident.
"As is often the case in specialized fields things appear different to outside persons than they do to those trained and experienced in that area," said Stinnett.
"If it is at that school, that is an appropriate method of restraint and maybe Mrs. Baker didn't understand that at that time," said Thomas.
Baker said that's not the case and left the meeting feeling as if her voice wasn't heard.
"I would just like for them to be in my shoes for five minutes to see how I feel," said Baker. "I am so mad right now."
Baker said she still plans to continue her fight for her son, but at this time she is still not sure if she plans to keep Christopher in Mercer County Schools.
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