Man claims daughter abused at Lexington school
LEXINGTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A local father is claiming a Lexington school punished his daughter by locking her in a closet.
The incident allegedly happened six years ago, but the Bill Lichtenstein recently went public with the accusations.
Lichtenstein told 7News the abuse happened when his daughter was 5 years old when she was in kindergarten.
Lichtenstein said he went public with the story because he believes there may be more children who were also disciplined in the same manner.
Lichtenstein said he and his wife were called to their daughter’s elementary school six years ago because of a behavior problem. When they arrived at the school, they were stunned to find their daughter in a closet.
The parents later found out she was sent to the closet for running through the halls and speaking out of turn.
The family filed a law suit against the school district and the family was awarded close to $400,000; a large sum of the money was used for treatment for their daughter.
One of the conditions of the settlement was that the family not speak to the media, but the father decided to break his silence, sharing details of the closet he said his daughter was sent to sometimes for as long as an hour.
“She was found in this -- it was a teacher’s phone booth and today I understand is a mop closet. She had been in there, we later learned, five times that morning. On the fifth time, she had to go to the bathroom -- didn’t want to wet herself so she took her clothes off, peed in the room. She was apparently found by somebody and rather than help her, they took a file folder and wrote on it, ‘don’t touch,’ and put it over the window and left her in there until we came to get her,” said Lichtenstein.
The superintendent of schools in Lexington issued a statement saying in part, “The Lexington Public Schools maintains a written policy concerning timeouts. And our policy reflects and has always reflected state laws…In this case, staff members followed district protocols.”
Lichtenstein said his daughter suffers from severe trauma due to what happened when she was 5 years old.