John A. Phillips Jr.,Ph.D., Muscogee County Interim Superintendent, released the following statement Thursday afternoon.
"In reference to media reports concerning claims/allegations of abuse of a special needs child:
The district is committed to protecting the safety and rights of all its students and employees and, based on the information it has, believes that its staff's actions were consistent with that commitment to student safety.
The district does want to be in a position to respond to the allegations of abuse. But, according to media reports, the family has made numerous claims that would require the district to share information that is protected by federal law from disclosure without parental approval.
The district has requested a waiver from the parents of any privacy rights as to information necessary to a response to media inquiries about the allegations of abuse, but they have not responded. If the district receives such permission, the district will be happy to cooperate. The waiver is essential because, for example, without such a waiver, the district cannot even explain the agreed upon procedures for transporting the child, let alone respond to any claims for alleged deviation from any such procedures.
The district looks forward to hearing from the family and receiving permission to answer your questions. It remains hopeful that the family wants the public to have the information necessary to make an informed decision about the actions of district staff and will respond to the district's communications in a way that will allow the district to fully respond to your requests. But, until then, all the district can say is that much of what it has seen reported is inaccurate."