An arraignment will take place today for three women involved in using banned restraining techniques causing a student’s death.
Almost a year ago, on November 28, 13-year-old Max Benson—who was autistic as well as suffering from the effects of a brain tumor—was struggling in the classroom and became violent.
His teacher, Kimberly Wohlwend, used a prone restraint on the student. It put him lying on the floor facedown with her holding him down from behind. Wohlwend traded off with other employees to keep him in this position for almost two hours, only stopping once Benson vomited and passed out.
The teacher and fellow onlookers waited 25 minutes before calling an ambulance. Benson was given CPR and taken to the UC Davis Medical Center.
Two days later, on November 30, Benson died in the hospital. He had been declared brain-dead after cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure.
thats the worst ive heard so sorry it makes me sick
— marlenekiefer (@marlenekiefer) November 13, 2019
Benson began attending the school after being diagnosed with the brain tumor. The school was aware of his diagnosis, as well as his health concerns and behavioral issues.
After Benson’s death, multiple other families came forward, reporting that their children had also been victims of the banned restraints at the school.
This is outrageous and breaks my heart.
— shortlist (@kbjane08) November 14, 2019
As a result, Guiding Hands School lost its certification and was closed by California state authorities. The school did not reopen, but another educational program has used the building since then.