Teacher, principal, administrator face charges in death of student with autism

School officials face charges in connection to death of student with autism

Three educators have been charged in connection with the death of a student with autism.

The student, 13-year-old Max Benson, died after he was restrained facedown at the school for nearly two hours on Nov. 28, 2018, the criminal lawsuit claims, according to KCRA.

A separate lawsuit said school officials did not give medical aid when Benson was in distress, KCRA reported.

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A report by the California Department of Education issued after the incident said the employees used "an amount of force which is not reasonable and necessary under the circumstances," adding "emergency intervention was used for longer than necessary."

At first, the Guiding Hands School, Inc. had its certification suspended, then the school eventually closed, KTLA reported.

This week, Cindy Keller, the executive director of the school, Staranne Meyers, the school's former principal, and special education teacher Kimberly Wohlwend face felony involuntary manslaughter charges, prosecutors with the El Dorado County District Attorney's office told KCRA.

The school specialized in helping students with special needs that prevented them from attending classes in public schools, KTLA reported.