What kind of society have we created when police will arrest a 10-year-old autistic kid, take him from his mother and lock him up overnight with no contact to his family?
What kind of teachers and education professionals are unable to manage a 10-year-old that they know has autism? Aren’t they professionals? Isn’t their career and education focused on managing children, who at the best of times can throw monumental fits for no apparent reason?
What kind of police officers arrest a 10-year-old, pull him screaming away from his mom and school, and drag him to jail? Is there no other way to deal with this?
This entire episode is shameful. I understand that some children are more challenging than others. I also understand that these educators and police officers are incompetent. That they wouldn’t allow his mother to understand what was happening, that they wouldn’t just let her take her son home to settle him down? Its outrageous. Every adult involved in this episode should hang their head in shame, be suspended without pay for a month and held up for public ridicule. Maybe have a rotten tomato or two lobbed at them.
A mother in Florida watched as her 10-year-old son was dragged away from his elementary school in handcuffs and forced to spend the night in jail for an incident that took place last year.
Luanne Haygood captured footage of two school resource officers at Okeechobee Achievement Academy who grabbed her son by the wrists.
“I don’t want to be touched,” John Benjamin Haygood, who was slumped over in his chair, pleaded with the officers. “I don’t like to be touched.”
Hypersensitivity to being touched can be a symptom of autism, according to Autism Speaks.
In the video, Haygood repeatedly asks the officers why her son was being arrested, but they refused to answer.
“They didn’t respond to anything that I said,” Haygood told RT.
Haygood was later informed that the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office had served John Benjamin a juvenile version of a warrant for allegedly kicking and scratching a teacher last October.
“I don’t know what’s going on, mama!” John Benjamin can be heard shouting as his mother followed behind.
Haygood explained to the officers that her son is on the autism spectrum and asks if she could ride with them to the police station, but officers refused.
“He has autism,” Haygood pleaded with the officers. “He doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s scared to death, he’s 10 years old!”
Haygood says that didn’t stop deputies from taking her son down to the station and locking him up overnight.