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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A kindergarten student suffering from epilepsy recently came home from school with rug burn and swelling on his face. His family is upset, and they want answers.

The parents of Austin Barham, 6, a kindergarten student at Town Creek Elementary are angered by the way the school handled their son.

“He has epilepsy. He takes medicine twice a day. He’s had seizures since he was six months old. He does have a behavior problem. He is on Ritalin, but it doesn’t excuse the way he came home,” Austin’s mom Melissa Jenkins said. “If we had sent him to school like that, we would have been in jail for child abuse.”

Jenkins says that her son Austin came home with rug burn, bruises and swelling all over his face.

“He said that they had his face pressed down on the floor,” she said. “I can show you a picture. The worst side was on the left side of his face. He had a bruise on his cheek bone. He had red splotches all over the left side of his face. You could see them on his forehead, on the left side of his face. Splotches on the left side of his face. I don’t like looking at it”

Jenkins says that despite calling the school and law enforcement, she has been met with no answers as to why her son was treated this way.

Brunswick County Schools sent us a statement saying they cannot comment on this case.

“Brunswick County complies with the Deborah Greenblatt Act,” the statement said. “Staff are trained to implement physical intervention as a last resort when required to prevent students from injuring themselves, other students, or staff.”

Jenkins says that is not an answer.

“I don’t understand why nobody is taking any kind of action of notifying us,” she said. “They’re looking into it. At least call us and say something.”

A Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman told us the district’s executive director for elementary education has reached out to the family by phone.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office referred the family to the school district.

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31 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Parents say school staff roughed up epileptic son"

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2016 years 2 months ago

Thanks to everyone for supporting our child an sticking behind the truth its wrong what happened end of story

2016 years 2 months ago

He wasn’t in a seizure at the time of this and if this was your son I’m pretty sure you would be upset also by telling the parents to chill is like letting the teachers we trust with our children do as they please in any Situation. I don’t care who you are, (teacher, ect) if you touch my child. We have problems.

2016 years 2 months ago

What the hell is wrong with you people??? The parenting has NOTHING to do with this story it has everything to do with the messed up school system BRUNSWICK COUNTY has. They should NEVER lay an ill hand on any child. Also why in the hell is the assistant principle involved in any of this? She is not trained to deal with special chidren where were his teachers that r with him everyday and are trained to deal with this behavior??? I CALL BULLSHIT!!!!

2016 years 2 months ago

I feel bad for this family. Someone should be able to tell you what happened to your child while they were under the schools supervision. How can they just send a kid home like that without an explanation or a phone call or something. The child is most likely having a hard enough time in a new school with his complications and should be able to look to the school staff for guidance and care. The parents seem concerned like they should be as good parents and how anyone can attack them I don’t understand. I suggest requesting for… Read more »

Guest CommonTater
2016 years 2 months ago

I do sympathize with your situation and no child should be subjected to such harsh physical intervention but why do we hold our school systems responsible for managing such cases? It should be the parents responsibility to seek out another level of care that can provide for a child in extreme cases. The public has GOT to quit thinking the school system is a catch-all for everything. If your child is “outside the box” then see to providing more for YOUR child. You want it done right… right? Quit whining and see to it.

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