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  #1  
Old 20 April 2017, 01:33 PM
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Default Mom films autistic 10-year-old’s arrest at school. Then he spent the night in jail.

A Florida mother filmed the arrest of her 10-year-old son as school resource deputies handcuffed him and took him away. The boy, who has autism, is accused of battery of a school employee in Okeechobee County because he kicked a teacher last November. The offense is a third-degree felony.

His mother Luanne Haygood said her son shouldn’t have been arrested for the incident. “It was because of his autism that spurred this incident,” Haygood told WPTV. “And he was arrested for that.”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...145281069.html

I am actually speechless at the moment. Arresting a 10 year and putting him in jail? Over something that happened months ago? Bad enough. Arresting an autistic child and putting him in jail over something that happened months ago? Freaking pathetic.
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Old 20 April 2017, 03:24 PM
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The worst part was in the msn.ca article I read about it where it was revealed by the teacher in his report that the boy kicked him while he was trying to restrain him by wrapping his arms around the boys chest "so as to not restrict breathing, but controlling him".

Holy krap! You are an adult bear hugging a child and yet when he kicks you, immediately you press felony charges?!?

My wife works in the school environment, and she sees krap like this from time to time. She just wants to brow beat the EAs into understanding that they are escalating a situation, no calming it down, as they are supposed to do.
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  #3  
Old 20 April 2017, 04:16 PM
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You want to calm down an autistic kid, grabbing them in a bear hug is about the single worst thing you can do.
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Old 20 April 2017, 04:28 PM
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I don't know about working with autistic children but at the schools near us you don't touch the kids. They can be having a meltdown and breaking the furniture but you still don't touch them. That's not exactly ideal either BTW but I'll take that over somebody squeezing a kid and then being surprised he got a kick.
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Old 20 April 2017, 04:57 PM
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It would be nice if the sheriff's department explained why they weren't able to serve the papers until now. Not that I think the delay is the major issue here, I just think they owe that kids' family, and the community as a whole, an explanation.
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Old 20 April 2017, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I don't know about working with autistic children but at the schools near us you don't touch the kids.
One of the most common traits of autism is a dislike of physical contact, especially with people you don't like. If an autistic kid is having a freak-out, grabbing them in any way is going to make it a lot worse.
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Old 20 April 2017, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
“Unfortunately, instead of treating or accommodating we arrest because we don’t know what else to do,”
That quote is exactly what I was thinking before I even read the article. It's evident from this and other similar incidents that some police forces have woefully inadequate training on dealing with people with mental health issues. It's like all they see is someone acting "violent" and they don't know anything other than "we're supposed to put violent people in jail" and they end up trying to handle an autistic kid having a meltdown the same way the would handle a bar fight.
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Old 20 April 2017, 09:06 PM
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During the recent United incident where the passenger was dragged off a plane, a blogger who is a retired police officer made a comment that got me thinking...

He said, essentially, that schools, airlines, businesses etc are using the police more and more often to do the ugly side of their job. And the police response is limited to what the law is, and the ability of an individual officer to use discretion is not broad.

Police being used to deal with customers who are sitting in the coffee shop beyond 20 minutes, because a child used a stick like a gun in a playground, because an employee was caught walking out the door with cleaning supplies etc. Years ago, these would have been dealt with by the people who set those conditions. Now, the default is to call the police. Yet the police have the options of either arrest and charge or ignore. One gets a 10 year old autistic student a felony charge, the other makes the school look impotent.

Guess which way the ball will roll.
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Old 20 April 2017, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
That quote is exactly what I was thinking before I even read the article. It's evident from this and other similar incidents that some police forces have woefully inadequate training on dealing with people with mental health issues.
It seems like the ones who really needed training were the school staff. It's not at all clear from the article how the police responded to the initial call, or if they responded at all. Maybe they were perfectly calm and a great help.
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  #10  
Old 21 April 2017, 01:57 AM
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As someone who works with severely disabled students, I can say that restraint methods are sometimes necessary to prevent self-injury or injury to others. "Don't touch the kids" seems like a no-brainer, but it isn't always that simple. We have one student (not particularly large, but wiry and quite strong) that it sometimes takes as many as three adults to handle (as gently as possible) if he has an episode. (I've had to physically pry him off a female paraprofessional; he had become agitated by a transition in routine and had lashed out by grabbing her ID lanyard around her neck and pulling her head forward with one hand while digging his fingers into her shoulder and neck with the other.) More commonly, his main paraprofessional has had to gently but firmly hold him in place with what might be described as a type of "bear hug" from behind so that he doesn't throw himself backward and slam his head against the floor. In this case, the para is well-trained, the student is very comfortable with him, and the "hug" actually has an almost immediate calming effect on the student.

All that being said, it doesn't seem at first glance that the situation in the OP was handled appropriately - I can't imagine police being called in, never mind without being made aware of the nature of the situation as alleged in the OP article. There's no idea of "punishment" in our dealings, either - the immediate behavior is stopped and corrected by the school personnel, and more often than not activities revert to normal within a matter of minutes. Parents and higher-ups are notified of all incidents, and procedures are always reviewed and tweaked as necessary to try to prevent future recurrences and to maximize the safety of the student and all involved.
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  #11  
Old 21 April 2017, 02:09 AM
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Okay, I will amend my statement: if you're not someone who's been trained to work with autistic children, you shouldn't grab them during a freak-out.
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Old 21 April 2017, 02:31 PM
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I guess the kid should just be happy the police didn't shoot him instead. They have a tendency to do that to people with autism
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Old 21 April 2017, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
During the recent United incident where the passenger was dragged off a plane, a blogger who is a retired police officer made a comment that got me thinking...

He said, essentially, that schools, airlines, businesses etc are using the police more and more often to do the ugly side of their job. And the police response is limited to what the law is, and the ability of an individual officer to use discretion is not broad.

Police being used to deal with customers who are sitting in the coffee shop beyond 20 minutes, because a child used a stick like a gun in a playground, because an employee was caught walking out the door with cleaning supplies etc. Years ago, these would have been dealt with by the people who set those conditions. Now, the default is to call the police. Yet the police have the options of either arrest and charge or ignore. One gets a 10 year old autistic student a felony charge, the other makes the school look impotent.

Guess which way the ball will roll.
True, but in this case, the police were called several months after the actual event. Shouldn't someone at the DA's office or something have looked at the charge being made and said "Nope, no way is this going to be a successful conviction" and throw it out? Police officers aren't the ones deciding on charges after the fact, AFAIK.
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Old 21 April 2017, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
True, but in this case, the police were called several months after the actual event. Shouldn't someone at the DA's office or something have looked at the charge being made and said "Nope, no way is this going to be a successful conviction" and throw it out? Police officers aren't the ones deciding on charges after the fact, AFAIK.
From the articles out there, the warrant was drawn up in November, immediately after the incident. It was only served, and the alleged offender arrested, this week.

The point, that I was not fully clear on making, is that involving the police in many actions that are firmly in the hands of the school (in this case) for resolution is using the police to do the school's ugly work. Administrators don't want to deal with a disruptive child, have the police involved.

And the use of police is, according to that source, growing.
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  #15  
Old 21 April 2017, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by UEL View Post
From the articles out there, the warrant was drawn up in November, immediately after the incident. It was only served, and the alleged offender arrested, this week.
Isn't that kind of strange?

They're perfectly fine with the person being on the loose between November and April; but in April hauling off in handcuffs is suddenly necessary?
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  #16  
Old 21 April 2017, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
And the use of police is, according to that source, growing.
It would seem to me that the solution to this problem is for the police to refuse to get involved in tasks outside their jurisdiction. Though in this case these were "school resource officers," even then their job should not be to handle minor disciplinary measures for the school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
They're perfectly fine with the person being on the loose between November and April; but in April hauling off in handcuffs is suddenly necessary?
I didn't understand that either - they had an "outstanding warrant", why the hell did they never serve it sooner? They know who the child is and where he lives.
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  #17  
Old 21 April 2017, 09:15 PM
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That smacks of using the police as a convenient threat: "We have a warrant for your arrest for kicking the teacher that one time - if you get out of line again, they'll come to get you." This is pure speculation, but I can't see why else it would have played out that way. Something seems screwy, that's for sure.
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Old 21 April 2017, 10:09 PM
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That smacks of using the police as a convenient threat: "We have a warrant for your arrest for kicking the teacher that one time - if you get out of line again, they'll come to get you."
I doubt the police would be in for such a game. How about bureaucratic inefficiency? Like they misfiled it or forgot to put the name of the school on the warrant? Wrong address? So many possibilities. It's also just possible that arresting a 10-year old wasn't a high priority item for the department. Stupid, perhaps, but not clearly malicious.
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  #19  
Old 21 April 2017, 10:19 PM
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I'd like some answers as to why they waited until the child was back on school property to arrest him. The incident happened months ago and the child has not been in school since. The article I read the spokesperson for the school tried to make it seem like it was just a coincidence that the child was arrested the one time he was at school - at the invitation of the school. Uh huh. Someone is sending a message and I'd like to know what they really are trying to do here. Besides making themselves global laughingstocks that is.
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  #20  
Old 21 April 2017, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
It's also just possible that arresting a 10-year old wasn't a high priority item for the department. Stupid, perhaps, but not clearly malicious.
That's kind of my take on this. Depending on upper management, some police departments are notoriously inefficient. In the stack of "Tingsadoo" this was probably at, or near the bottom until now.
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