MUSTANG, Okla. - A metro father is furious, because he said his son was locked inside a closet at school. Now, he is speaking out as the state investigates.
It happened at Mustang Creek Elementary School in Mustang. The family calls it a closet, but the school refers to it as the “refocus room.”
Nick Wynne was not in school Thursday. Hiding behind his wispy, brown locks, he was quiet as a mouse.
However, his dad had plenty to say about why his first grader was home instead of in class in the special program in which they placed him.
"They made it sound like a one-on-one kind of thing, because there are only children in his class with one teacher and one assistant,” Billy Wynne said.
Nick has ADHD and is waiting on a possible Autism diagnosis. The program he is in is called BRAIN, and the school staff said Nick was a good match for it.
"The student starts the first day of school not allowed to bring their lunch, not allowed to do recess,” Billy said. “If they get in trouble, there's this refocus room that is legitimately the storage closet for the classroom that they put them in and lock them in until they consider them under control."
And, that’s where things take a turn for the family.
"We told them 'I kind of have a problem with this, what you're calling a refocus room, this closet,' and they're like 'Don’t worry. It rarely ever happens. We'll call, and let you know if something does happen and they have to go in there.’ No. Never," Billy said. "The first time it happened was the second week of school."
And, they said they have recently learned it has happened multiple times since without their knowledge.
"I said 'We don't agree with this room, and we realize this is part of the program but don’t put him in there. Call us. We'll come up here if he's out of control for you guys,'” Billy said. "What if we were to do that to our own children? They were out of control, lock them in a closet for 30 minutes. If somebody reported it, I really think we would go to jail."
News 4 spoke with the school superintendent as well as the state board of education.
The superintendent of the school tells News 4 they will do anything they can to work with parents and the refocus room is only used when parents consent. They also admit communication is something they need to improve.
State school board officials said they are investigating and working with the school and parents to ensure an appropriate resolution.