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Feds to investigate isolation room complaint at Olathe school

Mother of son with autism filed complaint
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Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 19:35:40-04

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is now investigating an isolation room complaint brought by Toni Donahue on behalf of her son Drake, who has autism.

As the 41 Action News Investigators first reported in February, Donahue claims Drake was improperly and repeatedly put in an isolation room at Olathe's Prairie Center Elementary School for behavior issues without her consent.

She pulled Drake out of school because she said he was traumatized.

Donahue made seven allegations against the school district in her federal complaint.

In a letter to Donahue dated Friday, August 26, Attorney Stephanie Lovett-Bowman of the OCR said her agency would investigate five of Donahue's allegations and didn't have jurisdiction on the other two.

The new federal investigation comes after the Kansas Department of Education mostly dismissed Donahue's complaint to that agency.

The letter to Donahue says OCR will periodically update her on the status of the complaint.

It also says OCR may help the parties involved resolve the issues.

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Andy Alcock can be reached at anderson.alcock@kshb.com.

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