Attorneys: Video shows ‘little if any’ deescalation before autistic student was dragged across floor

McNabb Elementary in Paducah

PADUCAH — Lawyers for the parents of a child with autism who police say was dragged across the floor by a teacher and a teacher’s aide in February released a statement about the incident Tuesday.

The teacher and the aide were both fired from McNabb Elementary School in Paducah after the two incidents in which the 9-year-old child was dragged.

Paducah police said McNabb Elementary School teacher Vanacia Barner, and teacher’s aid Katrella Farmer were caught on school surveillance video dragging the child. Police said, the child caused a disruption in the classroom, and the women tried to pick him up. When they couldn’t lift him, police said, they dragged him across the floor by his arm instead.

As Local 6 reported in our previous coverage of the case, an attorney representing the family says a deescalation plan was in place as part of the boy’s individualized education program, which was to be used to help calm him if he became agitated, but the two women didn’t follow that plan.

Both have been charged with wanton endangerment. There is video of the incident, but it isn’t being released.

A statement from the family’s attorney references that video, and reads in part:

“At no time does the video from February 11, 2019 or February 15, 2019 show the student causing a danger to self or others. The video surveillance shows little, if any, in the way of deescalation interaction between the special needs student and the adult staff in the room.

“At no time does it seem that the staff worked in tandem to carry the student, on either date. Audio is not available as part of the recording on either date.

“At no time does it seem that the staff worked in tandem to carry the student, on either date. Audio is not available as part of the recording on either date.”

To read the statement in full, click here.