Outside panel calls JCPS student's injuries abuse
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An outside panel that reviewed the case of a 16-year-old who received life-threatening injuries at school when he was reportedly restrained is calling it abuse.
The Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel in Frankfort is also recommending that state and police agencies review and possibly reopen their investigations into what happened to Brennan Long.
Brennan, who has autism, walked into the Binet School for Children with Learning Disabilities in November 2014, but he left with both of his femurs broken in multiple pieces.
He was in intensive care for a week and couldn't walk for 42 days.
PREVIOUS STORY: Parents of teen severely injured at school speak out
According to a report from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, teacher's aide Sherman Williams placed Brennan in a cradle assist. His parents want to know how that led to Brennan's severe injuries.
"I've run through a lot of things in my mind. What I do know is it takes a lot of force, 544 pounds at least, to break one femur in a twisting motion," Brennan's father, Brian Long, told the panel on Monday.
The Longs received a settlement from JCPS for $1.75 million, but are upset a JCPS, Child Protective Services and LMPD investigation were closed with inconclusive findings as to how the injuries occurred.
Brian Long said key people weren't interviewed about what happened, including their son. Williams was also not interviewed after obtaining an attorney. He is still employed by JCPS.
His attorney, Eric Farris, released a statement following the panel's decision that the state and police should review their investigations and possibly reopen them:
"After receiving a settlement of $1.75 million and after an exhaustive and thorough review of this matter by JCPS, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Louisville Metro Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit and the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the parents of this child continue to pursue this matter. These efforts raise a question in my mind as to the parents' motive. Because the Child Fatality/Near Fatality Review Committee apparently heard only from the parents in the review of this matter, I do not see that committee's response as objective, nor well-informed."
Dr. Melissa Currie, who sits on the panel, said the Binet School has documentation of using restraints from an Aikido based program in addition to safe crisis management, which is what is typically used in the schools. She also stated that LMPD was reviewing the case and is about two-thirds of the way finished.
JCPS spokeswoman Allison Martin also released the following statement:
"JCPS, Louisville Metro Police and Child Protective Services each conducted a thorough review and investigation of this case. JCPS personnel cooperated with authorities and provided information to investigators. I'm not sure how a panel can determine what three independent investigative agencies could not."
Following the meeting Brian and Kim Long said they were happy with the results.
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