AUSTIN, Texas — When Tatiana Alfano approached the microphone at the Round Rock ISD school board meeting on Thursday evening, she came prepared with a lengthy statement. She prefaced to the board that it would take longer than two minutes, but felt it was necessary.
Alfano believes the district committed a wrong that needs to be made right.
"My son deserves an apology after being thrown into a wall," Alfano can be heard saying during her time in front of the board.
The video from April 2022 shows two women taking then 13-year-old Quintin Proctor to a "cool-off room" after he was removed from class. The two woman are seen using a restraint on Proctor called a "two-person forward."
A cool-off room is used for students to come and go as they please to regain focus. Students are sometimes taken there when they are feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
Later, the video shows GOALS Learning Center administrator Jacob Thomas at the entrance of the cool-off room.
When Proctor attempts to walk out, Thomas is seen grabbing and tossing Proctor back into the cool-off room. Proctor can be seen hitting the wall, which he said caused a lump on his head.
In April, an email between Alfano and the campus director of special education and behavioral services said Proctor fell during the incident.
The footage goes on to show Thomas appearing to put Proctor in a restraint on the floor. Proctor is heard yelling.
It is against the law to physically keep a student from leaving the cool-off room. Texas law does prohibit teachers from blocking the door or using force to put kids in timeout.
Alfano advocated against restraints being used on students at the Round Rock ISD school board meeting. She told KVUE Defenders on Wednesday she is fighting to pass the "Keeping All Students Safe Act" in Texas.
"Every restraint seclusion performed on a child is considered an adverse childhood experience … aka trauma," Alfano said.
Alfano was cut off after speaking for two minutes and was told by school board President Amber Feller that her time had expired. Board member Danielle Weston called a "point for order," requesting that the speaker – Alfano – finish her statement. Feller said there was no one to second it, and could not allow it.
The audience could be heard supporting Alfano, some saying, "Let her speak."
Instead, Feller called a five-minute recess. During the recess, Alfano continued to read her statement, but stopped when Feller approached her.
When the board returned from recess, Proctor's name was called to speak. Alfano said the board would not allow Proctor to yield his time to her. A Round Rock ISD spokesperson told the KVUE Defenders the board policy does not allow for individuals to yield their time to others.
Alfano told the KVUE Defenders in a statement, "The school district had every opportunity to apologize to Quintin and I for what happened, and they chose to silence us, instead."
Round Rock ISD told the KVUE Defenders an investigation into the matter has been completed, but it would not share its outcome because it is a "personnel matter." The district said Thomas no longer works at GOALS Learning Center, but instead works on special projects at the district's administration building. Round Rock ISD would not say why Thomas was removed from GOALS Learning Center.
Records show the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services investigated the incident and ruled out abuse.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) confirmed "the educator in question currently has an investigatory flag on their certificate. Since the matter remains ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time." Thomas' teaching certification is noted to say the educator is under investigation.
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