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Parents of student handcuffed at school, taking appeal to Education Commissioner

Belton ISD Belton ISD
TEMPLE, TX (KXXV) -

The parents of a Belton ISD student who was placed in handcuffs on a school campus three months ago, are now taking their case to the state.

This comes at a point where they've reached a stalemate with the school district and it falls in line with the promise the Caruso’s made, back in February, to fight for justice at any cost.

"Don't let them sweep it under the rug. Don't let them say we're going to investigate and get back to you with a solution,” Lisa Caruso said, “No. Stay on them, because you have to, because nothing will get done."

The Caruso’s are appealing to have their case heard by the Texas Education Commissioner.

Their eight-year-old son, Ethan, was placed in handcuffs by a Temple police officer after an emotional outburst at Pirtle Elementary school.

They say they’re not only upset by the incident itself, but also with the events that led up to it, which was all captured on surveillance video.

The footage shows Ethan being dragged out of the cafeteria, where an alleged bullying incident sparked his outburst. He's then escorted to the front office by staff and officers and later placed in handcuffs.

Ethan's parents laid out their case before the Belton ISD Board of Trustees in early April.

In their presentation, they told the board that both the school resource officer and school employees lacked training, violated their son's rights, and that the school district was incapable of carrying out a fair investigation of the incident.

To remedy these issues, the Caruso’s are asking for more training for Temple police officers and Belton ISD staff, a thorough investigation of their son's bullying incident, compensation for their hardship, discipline for the employees involved and a third party investigation into the event.

The school board rejected all of those requests, but the family is hoping that the Education Commissioner will give them a different outcome.

Officials with Belton ISD are also locked in a battle with the city of Temple, which is withholding the original body cam footage of the incident, as they wait on an opinion from the Texas Attorney General.

That decision is expected by April 29, 2016.

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