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Disability advocates: Teacher Protection Act traumatizes students

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MADISON, Wis. - When Caleb Adams was 9 years old, he was handcuffed and put in a police squad car after what his mother called a "challenging" day at school.

"With not being able to move my hands, to be honest, they're just showing me that that's OK to do to people," Caleb, now 11, told FOX 47.

Caleb, who lives in Wisconsin Dells, is on the autism spectrum, and has brain damage and anxiety. His mother, Nicole Weigel, had to take him out of school and temporarily home-school him.

"I watched as this child was brought in handcuffs out to a squad car. As the adults talked about him like he was a thing and not a human being. As they talked through what had happened trying to find fault with this child, again," Weigel said in a testimony during a committee hearing Wednesday.

Weigel was just one of more than a dozen people who came to the Capitol Thursday to testify during a public hearing for Assembly Bill 693, or the Teacher Protection Act.

The bill would create and modify certain rights and protections for schoolteachers. It would allow teachers to "use reasonable and necessary force under certain circumstances" and to remove a student from a classroom for two consecutive days.

The bill's author, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, said measures need to be in place to protect teachers.

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