Seattle Schools reaches $1.3 million settlement with family of boy locked outdoors
In 2019, the principal at View Ridge Elementary had a disabled second-grader padlocked in a fenced playground sports court multiple times to prevent him from leaving school.
The boy, who had no table or chair, was served his lunch on the concrete ground. At recess, classmates stared at him through the fence. His mother, Keosha Williams, says he was traumatized.
“He still has those issues to where he's not as trusting with adults, because these were people who were supposed to educate him, and they violated him in the utmost way," Williams said.
A kindergarten teacher witnessed the mistreatment and intervened. The principal resigned after a district investigation. A district representative, however, had earlier approved of the sports court as a holding place for the child.
In a statement, district spokesperson Bev Redmond said Seattle Schools "does not condone discrimination or mistreatment of any students, staff or any member of the public."
Redmond added that the school board and Superintendent Brent Jones "have since revised procedures to further ensure the safety and protection of our most vulnerable students."
King County Superior Court and a court-appointed guardian ad litem must approve the settlement before it is finalized. Insurance will cover all but $120,000 of the settlement amount, said district spokesperson Tim Robinson.