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A New York teacher allegedly tied an autistic boy to a chair with rope. Now his parents are suing.

Parents claim teacher tied autistic son to chair with rope
Parents claim teacher tied autistic son to chair with rope 02:07

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- The parents of a student with autism are suing a Long Island school district for $3 million after a teacher allegedly tied their son to a chair in a special needs classroom. 

Karla and Carlos Diaz said New Hyde Park Memorial School leaders didn't notify them about the incident with their 15-year-old son until the next day, when they found out his teacher was suspended. 

"They called me, and said, 'So sorry, so sorry. Mr. Diaz, your son was tied in a rope to the chair for the teacher. We called the police,'" Carlos Diaz told CBS New York. "The police came to my house to check my son." 

Rope was around boy's stomach, family lawyer says

The Diazes' son, who is nonverbal, attends two high schools in the Sewanhaka District: Elmont and New Hyde Park. The couple intends to sue both. 

"A rope, around his stomach, tying him to a chair," said the couple's attorney Stephanie Ovadia, who obtained the police report from Nassau County. "What we know is what the police report itself stated, that there were two witnesses to this, another teacher as well as a nurse." 

"Once we learned of the incident, we immediately conducted an investigation, the teacher was removed from the classroom and the proper authorities were promptly contacted including the Nassau County Police Department and the New York State Department of Education," said Dr. Thomas Dolan, interim superintendent of schools for the Sewanhaka Central High School District. 

Harnesses used in some rare instances

We're told lap belt safety harnesses can be used in some schools in rare instances, but only with parental permission.

The Diazes said they did not give permission and did not receive a report about their son misbehaving in school. 

"He understands but he doesn't speak. So I don't know how many times this happened," said Diaz. "I love my son. He's special. He's a very, very, very, very nice boy." 

The Diazes said their son no longer wants to go to school. Nassau County police confirmed they are still investigating. 

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