Boston Public Schools officials said they are investigating allegations that a 3-year-old child was inappropriately restrained in a chair with nylon straps and buckles at a school.

The alleged incident at the James F. Condon School in South Boston occurred on Feb. 14 and was reported by another teacher who saw it happen, according to WBZ-TV.

Physical restraints are only supposed to be used to protect a student or school staff member from assault or harm, according to a policy from the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In a letter to Condon parents, Region 2 Superintendent Mary Driscoll said she wanted to reassure families that the matter is "being fully addressed."

“The BPS Office of Specialized Services is in direct contact with the school to support staff with proper district protocols regarding the use of student restraints,” the letter said.

Each school staff member is required to undergo training on how and when to use physical restraints, according to DESE, and training should occur the first month of each school year. The department's procedures state staff should verbally notify a parent about use of a restraint within 24 hours of it happening. Schools are also expected to send a written notification within three working days of the restraint.

Maura Sullivan, deputy executive director of The Arc of Massachusetts, which advocates for people with disabilities, said she could not comment on the circumstances at the Condon school, but called it tragic.

“I really feel for that parent who is understandably extremely upset,” she said.

Sullivan said such incidents can traumatize students with special needs, some of whom may have limited communication skills.

“That's even more frightening for that person when they can't communicate how they're feeling, why they're upset to begin with.”

Sullivan said school systems have psychologists to analyze and develop specialized behavioral plans for children with special needs.

“Teachers need to be trained to follow those plans," she said.

Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a statement to GBH that the incident is “deeply concerning" and that the district will continue to work with the student and family to give them any support they need to feel safe and continue in BPS.

“There can be really challenging behavior in young children, and we have to be better trained in our schools to manage this,” Sullivan said. “There can be self harm and aggression towards other kids, and teachers really need to be aware of how to manage those without inflicting harm on the child.”

Skipper said that all involved staff members have been placed on leave indefinitely.

Corrected: March 05, 2024
A previous version of this story did not properly attribute a quote to Maura Sullivan.