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Sixth Grader Evan Rivera Claims He was Locked in a 'Windowless Closet,' Punished for Special Needs

A Pennsylvania sixth grader and his parents are accusing his science teacher of punishing the boy for his special needs by locking him in a “windowless closet.”

Evan Rivera claims that his science teacher put him in a storage closet and kept him locked away from "everything that (the other students) are doing," as he told Philadelphia's NBC 10. Rivera is currently taking ADHD medication and is getting tested for Asperger’s Syndrome.

Joseph Roy, superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District, however claims that the boy and his parents’ accusations are entirely inaccurate.

"To describe it as 'locked in a storage room or a closet' is patently untrue," Roy told the Daily News. "The area is used by teachers and kids to make up tests. You can enter it from two sides and there are two doors — both of the doors have windows (into classrooms)… You cannot lock them."

Rivera’s parents are arguing that the science teacher has purposely singled out the boy due to his special needs, explaining that he performs well in all his other classes.

"(The science teacher)'s lashing out and singling him out," Johnny Rivera , Evan’s father, said. "Because I think she's looking more at him as a problem child and not as a special needs student."

Roy has expressed that the school district does not punish children for special needs, but treats special need issues seriously in order to make sure all children can succeed.


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