School for special needs children stops residential program after student's death

Officials for a private school for children with special needs announced on Monday that they’re ceasing operations following the death of a 17-year-old student earlier this month in Philadelphia.

Wordsworth Academy’s residential treatment program was ordered to close by the state Department of Human Services after the student died in an altercation with staff.

“Wordsworth has a long history in serving youth and families and we remain committed to our mission. We plan to use this time to improve our Residential Treatment program by enhancing operations, staff training, and our residential facility,” the school wrote on their website, adding, “The Residential Treatment program currently serves 90 children ranging in age from 12-21, all of whom will be transitioned out to other facilities.”

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State officials will be on site until all residents are moved. The program serves youths who have emotional, behavioral or academic issues.

Officials said the boy tried to barricade himself inside a room. He died after police say he might have been placed in a headlock by a staff member who was trying to subdue him.

The website also stated that “all other Wordsworth programs will continue to operate.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.