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View Full Version : I don't even have words for this


Actressdancer
09-23-2007, 08:47 AM
As most of you have probably already figured out, I'm quite a talker. But I really have no words to express my reaction to this one:

6yo Autistic boy criminally charged with assaulting his teacher (http://www.wcpo.com/content/news/fresh/story.aspx?content_id=1FAAED2C-0902-4C23-8D9A-52C47E6BD24F&gsa=true)

sevenwhiskers
09-23-2007, 09:31 AM
:eek::eek::eek:

that's absolutely ridiculous. :evil:

how can they even charge a 6 year old anyway? don't you guys have a minimum age for that in the states like we do here? under 12, i believe it is, they simply can not be charged with a criminal offense...

Jo Anna
09-23-2007, 09:43 AM
This just outrages me! What is that woman thinking? What did she want he few minutes in the spotlight of the camera or what? There are other ways of doing that. If anything should have been done it should be the parents pressing charges against the school for not providing an adequate environment for their son's condition. I would like to take that teacher behind the shed and show her what shoving and kicking feels like. Sorry, but I really have strong beliefs on stuff like this.

Jackie
09-23-2007, 10:16 AM
I think if I were the parent, I would turn it around and charge the school under not providing the appropriate environment for my child to learn. He's special ed, which means they must take his autism/behavior into account. Obviously, they didn't, and placed him with teachers/aides that were poorly trained to handle his behavior. This is a child STILL LEARNING how to control his behavior.

homeschoolinmum
09-23-2007, 10:40 AM
Amen Jackie!

Actressdancer
09-23-2007, 01:17 PM
how can they even charge a 6 year old anyway? don't you guys have a minimum age for that in the states like we do here? under 12, i believe it is, they simply can not be charged with a criminal offense...

Sadly, this is not the case here. A few years ago a 5yo boy in Texas was charged with sexually assaulting a female classmate. He kissed her, as Kindergarten boys are prone to do (Georgie Pordgie, anyone?). I never did hear the end result, but I know it went to trial. The school district was the one who pressed the charges, not the girl's parents.

Dr. Dobson talks a lot about that case in his book Bringing Up Boys. I have my copy on loan so I can't even look it up for you. I'm sure someone else here could give more information.

kyzg
09-23-2007, 01:52 PM
Well, I'm going to take the unpopular stance here and play devil's advocate. Just the things that were said in the article make me suspect there's more to this story than what's contained in the article. I get the feeling that the parents and this teacher may have already been at odds with each other prior to this incident. After all, who would really be so harsh on a 6-year-old? Also, the comments the parents made, even saying "she's no small person" seems like they are getting personal. And notice how the parents said "Most of the time his behavior is whining and screaming" So what about "the rest of the time"? If this child is prone to even occasional violent outbreaks, then there becomes a concern for the safety of the other students as well. Which leads me to the question of just who put him into an integrated class? Should he even be at that school if he had the emotional capacity of a 3-year-old? I wonder if the parents insisted that he was integrated but now are complaining that the teachers aren't prepared to deal with him. Well, duh . . .
Did you notice how the parents said (referring to the whining and screaming) that they're sure it's nerve-wracking but "they" (the parents) deal with it? O.k., so they deal with it at home. Do they have 20 other children in the household to deal with, like there would be in a classroom?

It may be harsh to criminally charge a six-year-old for assault, especially when he has autism. However, I am wondering if the parents of this boy are just as culpable as the school in placing him into a situation he was not ready to handle. I'm going only on gut instinct here after reading the article, but I think these parents are trying to hard to play victim without realizing the responsibility that they play in all of this. Sadly, it's the little boy who has to suffer.

becky
09-23-2007, 02:05 PM
I believe there's more to it as well. How was this teacher supposed to defend herself, especially if she was being pulled down? This kid must have some strength to him to be able to pull an adult down. I also wonder if these parents did insist he be integrated. With the mind of a 3 yr old, he needed to be in a more appropriate setting. Bless that teacher for even dealing with that kind of stress each day.

Jackie
09-23-2007, 02:52 PM
Because I have taught Special Ed, I tend to take the teacher's side. Yes, I know there is probably more to this story than what was written (NO!!! The papers ALWAYS give an accurate, unbiased account!!!). But I also know that special needs children are "mainstreamed" simply because the school district doesn't want to pay for the a special class. Instead, they'll hire an aide to sit there and twiddle their thumbs for a lot less money. It seems this child has behavior problems. The school I am sure, is very much aware of it and still weren't willing to do anything about it. The aide knew she was working with a special needs child, probably knew the child could be violent, and should have been aware that there was a chance to get hurt. If she can't understand this child's problem, she has no business being an aide. I still think the district is failing the kid.

MonkeyMamma
09-23-2007, 03:06 PM
I know first hand from something that happened to me two weeks ago while teaching a class at church. I usually do not teach this class but I do know all the kids. So anyway there is a lady who works at the church who has 3 autistic kids. I have my own feelings on this but they are VERY harsh and will not post them here. Her oldest was in my class and does not get along with another boy in there. He walks in, sees the other boy and immediately starts acting out. By the end of class he had gotten so ragging mad it was scarey. He picked up a chair over his head as if to throw it. I stopped the situation. My point is that this child has serious anger issues and his parents do NOTHING! They act this way with all 3 kids. Anytime any of them do anything they brush it off and say "Oh well he has autism" because that is easier than dealing with the situation and therefor these boys are not taught any skills to deal with any issues that may arise. We don't know that these parents are not raising this child the same way. Of course we don't know how they are at all. It is just another way to look at it.

CelticRose
09-23-2007, 03:16 PM
I actually witnessed a child of about 9/10 (but small for his age) assault a teacher ~to the point he drew blood. Here teachers are not allowed to even touch a child so this man had no real way to defend himself. What I found most deeply disturbing was the school's response ~ a 10 day suspension for the child. It was too much paperwork & bother to lay criminal charges or expel the child. Where is plain common sense in cases like this?

Shelley
09-23-2007, 03:30 PM
As with others, I too suspect quite a bit more is going on here than this one incident. I tend to wonder if the aide didn't file the charges as a wake up call to the parents and a non-responsive school system.

The parents struck me as trying to make excuses for his behavior, minimizing it. Teachers aren't allowed to lay a hand on a child--- how could she defend herself? And what kind of parent blames the teacher's aide for getting hurt because she wouldn't?

If anyone's the most to blame here, it appears to be the district. They should not be mainstreaming a child who has such strong behavioral issues. If he can and will pull a teacher to the ground, then just think of what he could do to one of the other children.

I will admit some bias here, though, in my opinion. I used to teach professionally and I am in contact right now with a very difficult family that has an autistic younger son. Those two factors do probably color my take on things.

Actressdancer
09-23-2007, 03:44 PM
Our school district mainstreams ALL of the children, regardless of what parents want. If the aid wanted to make the point to the district, they should be taking the district to court.... not the child. I'm not making any excuses for the kid, here, but if my 3yo (which is his mental age) became violent with an adult, I wouldn't expect him to understand the CRIMINAL implications thereof. Heck, I barely expect him to understand the social/moral implications.

I'm probably overly sensitive on the other side of the aisle. I can only read so many stories of 6-9 year old kids being arrested at school for things like going to the bathroom without permission and sitting on the floor instead of at their desk before I see nothing but adults expecting children to behave like short adults instead of kids. If my 7yo was ever dragged to the police station in handcuffs (as happened to the little girl who went to the bathroom without permission) you'd see me all over the news, too.

If the aide was unable to deal with this child's behavior, then she has no business being in that school. And in my book, the only one at fault here is the district. No matter if integration was their idea or not, they should never have allowed it.

Shelley
09-23-2007, 03:51 PM
I'm probably overly sensitive on the other side of the aisle. I can only read so many stories of 6-9 year old kids being arrested at school for things like going to the bathroom without permission and sitting on the floor instead of at their desk before I see nothing but adults expecting children to behave like short adults instead of kids. If my 7yo was ever dragged to the police station in handcuffs (as happened to the little girl who went to the bathroom without permission) you'd see me all over the news, too.


But this isn't a case of child kissing another one on the cheek or of accidentally wetting the floor. This child is accused of actually pulling down an adult and hitting and kicking her. Even 3 year olds know better than to act like that. My children certainly never tried to pull anything like that with an adult.

This sounds like a child who is totally out of control. Do I believe criminal charges are in order? No. But I do believe that the parents and district need to wake up and face the fact that no adult--- and certainly no child--- should have to be put in danger because of mainstreaming. I can't imagine any adult could effectively handle a child like this one--- if you can't touch the child, how on earth is ANYONE supposed to handle him?

Again, I'm not saying I think criminal charges should be pursued, but I don't think this child should get a free pass to act dangerously and be given a free pass for it either. He needs to be out of the mainstream classroom if he can't be controlled.

Actressdancer
09-23-2007, 03:56 PM
Again, I'm not saying I think criminal charges should be pursued, but I don't think this child should get a free pass to act dangerously and be given a free pass for it either. He needs to be out of the mainstream classroom if he can't be controlled.

Oh, I agree. I wouldn't be upset at all over age appropriate disciplinary action and pulling him out of the classroom. It's the criminal charges that are ticking me off.

And I'm forced to ask, what end result could possibly come of this? Putting him in a juvenile detention center, as is usually the punishment for assault? Or probation? Like he'd have a clue about the implications of that. Or what about community service? What service can my 3 (or even 5 year old) do without my helping to such a degree that I'm doing most of the work?

This is American absurdity as it's finest.

Jackie
09-23-2007, 04:09 PM
Church, 4-H, Scouts, etc. are different, because they are NOT trained professionals. They are, for the most part, volunteer parents working with the kids. I feel that a parent should be aware of thier child's behavior, and needs to accompany the child to help control behavior. But SCHOOLS are different! The school has the responsibility to have trained people to deal with behavior. Period. And they need to have a system of consequences for children based on their MENTAL AGE. Also, I am curious in this child's ability to communicate. I get the idea that he is able to communicate to some extent, because I think the article says he admitted something. But I also know that often, when a child is non-verbal, the inability of the people around to undertand exasperates the situation. Often what adults perceive as a behavior problem in the non-verbal child is actually a breakdown in communication. Again, having a properly trained teacher/aide in the classroom helps when this is the case.

sevenwhiskers
09-23-2007, 04:55 PM
Sadly, this is not the case here. A few years ago a 5yo boy in Texas was charged with sexually assaulting a female classmate. He kissed her, as Kindergarten boys are prone to do (Georgie Pordgie, anyone?). I never did hear the end result, but I know it went to trial. The school district was the one who pressed the charges, not the girl's parents.

Dr. Dobson talks a lot about that case in his book Bringing Up Boys. I have my copy on loan so I can't even look it up for you. I'm sure someone else here could give more information.

so they can lay criminal charges against a child of any age down there? :o

i'm just shaking my head in amazement here...

it's not that i think kids should just 'get away' with any type of behaviour, but i certainly don't believe that criminal court is the appropriate way of dealing with situations such as this six year old and that 5 year old (and someone else in this thread mentioned a kid who went to the bathroom without permission.. and was taken away in cuffs!??! ) .....

i definitely agree that something needs to be addressed with this child -- but i can't see how laying criminal charges against him is the answer.

you guys mention mainstreaming -- that's the norm here... or at least it is in my province, i don't know about the rest of the country on this part... there's no such thing as the "special ed class" like there was when i went to school ... kids with disabilities are placed in regular classes and provided with a TA if required ... they may have 'pullout time' where they work with different people on specific skills, or time out of the class if they need it for other reasons, but there's no 'special ed class' anymore...

this kid is 6 years old - and they say he has a mental age of half that... what good is laying a criminal charge going to do? does anyone really think that he is going to fully grasp what it means? -- i'm not knocking kids with disabilities ( i have one of those myself).. i'm just being realistic about it...

at six years old, kids even WITHOUT any disabilities still often have the blur between reality and fantasy - know what i mean? durrr, i don't know how to explain myself here...

anyway... obviously something needs to happen - but i only hope that it's something positive for the child....if he's prone to violent outbursts, then those need to be better managed, and those who are caring for him need to have the skills to handle it, preferably by heading it off before it happens.....

it's just sad all round, really. why'd he strike out like that? there's a reason somewhere...whether it was anger, frustration, overwhelmed, overstimulated, whatever... it's there and i think they need to find out the 'why' to work with him.....

//babble//

Sunshine
09-23-2007, 09:05 PM
I also believe there is more to the story, on both sides. The papers only say so much and since we only hear the parents speak out, we didn't hear the teacher's aide and her side of the story.

SoonerMama
09-23-2007, 11:07 PM
I think that the teacher and school probably cannot say anything due to confidentiality.

Jackie
09-24-2007, 05:35 AM
With a lawsuit pending, they have probably also been told by the lawyer of the school district to not say anything right now.

Actressdancer
09-24-2007, 07:39 AM
With a lawsuit pending, they have probably also been told by the lawyer of the school district to not say anything right now.

The school district is not involved in the lawsuit. It is a private case of the teacher's aid vs. the boy.

I'm not saying that you thought otherwise. I am just clarifying in case someone did.

Jackie
09-24-2007, 07:55 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Amie! I would still assume that she has been warned against saying anything to the press, however.

Actressdancer
09-24-2007, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Amie! I would still assume that she has been warned against saying anything to the press, however.

Oh, I'm sure she has. I wasn't really trying to disagree. I'm just quite sleepy and it hit me that others might think the school was somehow involved.

Jackie
09-24-2007, 09:17 AM
I know you weren't! I think it's important to keep our facts as we know them as accurate as possible, and that's what you were trying to do!

Kellie
09-24-2007, 01:18 PM
Reading that article did make me angry, there is probably more to the story than being said but it still doesn't make it right.

Children are mainstreamed into regular ed. classes, alot of these children have poor control over their impulses due to their disability. Depending on how severe his autism is, he could be having a sensory overload with the kids, lights, noise, the teacher/aide reacting to his behavior.

I've worked in classrooms and I have witness teachers/aides provoking a child knowing how to push their buttons. This may not be the case in this story but witnessed this in other schools.

All school personal who work with disable children should be trained on how to restrain a child, so both can be safe. Why wasn't this child restrained or redirected when his behavior begins to escalate? There are tell-tale signs of what is disturbing the child. I do agree there needs to be discipline from the school/parents but not so in all cases.

As far as charging him, it's wrong!!!! In this state a child can not be charge with a crime underneath the age of 10 (totally relying on memory here, yikes :o) ). It's usually filed as a CINC case: child in need of care. Usually when young children are in criminal situations, the courts file CINC cases to investigate the home environment.

Just my two cents.

MonkeyMamma
09-24-2007, 01:26 PM
I agree that no matter what the whole true story is that this child should not be charged criminally.

KrisRV
09-24-2007, 04:16 PM
man alive I didn't really want to get into this subject but man oh man you can't blame that little boy.. How could anyone blame him? First they need to go to the parents. I have a nephew just like him.. My girls and I can go into many stories about him, but we wouldn't and it all leads back to the parents. Yes he has problems but he can and does well when his parents aren't around. Leave the little boy alone and take whatever problem you have up with the parents.. They are the ones who trained him..

MonkeyMamma
09-24-2007, 08:23 PM
Kris I think we were seperated at birth! We almost always think alike! From my experiences that is my opinion too.

KrisRV
09-24-2007, 09:37 PM
Tiffany, I think so but I am alot older then you. I am the older sister we need to meet.

chickenlittle
09-25-2007, 04:42 AM
Well, I'm going to take the unpopular stance here and play devil's advocate. Just the things that were said in the article make me suspect there's more to this story than what's contained in the article. I get the feeling that the parents and this teacher may have already been at odds with each other prior to this incident. After all, who would really be so harsh on a 6-year-old? Also, the comments the parents made, even saying "she's no small person" seems like they are getting personal. And notice how the parents said "Most of the time his behavior is whining and screaming" So what about "the rest of the time"? If this child is prone to even occasional violent outbreaks, then there becomes a concern for the safety of the other students as well. Which leads me to the question of just who put him into an integrated class? Should he even be at that school if he had the emotional capacity of a 3-year-old? I wonder if the parents insisted that he was integrated but now are complaining that the teachers aren't prepared to deal with him. Well, duh . . .
Did you notice how the parents said (referring to the whining and screaming) that they're sure it's nerve-wracking but "they" (the parents) deal with it? O.k., so they deal with it at home. Do they have 20 other children in the household to deal with, like there would be in a classroom?

It may be harsh to criminally charge a six-year-old for assault, especially when he has autism. However, I am wondering if the parents of this boy are just as culpable as the school in placing him into a situation he was not ready to handle. I'm going only on gut instinct here after reading the article, but I think these parents are trying to hard to play victim without realizing the responsibility that they play in all of this. Sadly, it's the little boy who has to suffer.

I agree that it is poorly written and very bias. It reminds me of poorly run "current affairs" programs. Which I take with a grain of salt.

Actressdancer
09-25-2007, 08:18 AM
Part of why it's so poorly written is that it just a transcript of the news story. If you click the box to the right of the "article", you can watch it. It seems like it doesn't follow well when written because of all the cuts to different people in the news story.

hmsclmommyto2
09-25-2007, 10:32 AM
This is ridiculous! A child of 6 without a disability wouldn't be able to fully grasp the concept of criminal charges, how can they possibly expect this child to understand what is going on? The child should NOT be mainstreamed with other children. He should be in special ed classes with teachers & aides that having training in dealing with kids like him. If he has the mentality of a 3 year old, he probably is having problems academically being in a regular Kindergarten classroom. Add to that, adults that don't know how to deal with him, a whole classroom full of other kids that need attention as well, and you're just setting yourself up for something like this.
The district never should have allowed this child to be mainstreamed at this point. Maybe in the future, when his behavior is more under control & he's mentally closer to the other students, but not at this age with these problems. This is a special needs child & should be treated as one. Pressing criminal charges against him isn't going to teach him anything, he's not going to understand it.
If the child is prone to violence (which apparently he is), the parents should be working together with the school & the child's Dr to come up with ways that the school can deal with his fits, without something like this happening. The parents, school, and Drs should be working together no matter what, actually. That is the only way that this child will recieve the care & education he needs. It sounds like they haven't been working together & that maybe this isn't the first time something has happened. (I haven't read all ther responses yet, so sorry if I'm repeating something someone else already said).
Anyway, I believe something should be done about this, but criminal charges against a 6 year old with the mentality of a 3 year old is just plain STUPID. The child needs help learning correct behavior, and acceptable ways to communicate (without violence). He does not need to be dragged into court. This is an extremely severe way to handle this situation. I can't believe a judge is actually going to let this go to trial. There are extenuating circumstances here that nobody seems to be taking into account.
If the parents aren't doing anything about his behavior, require them to get help; counseling or classes or something, so they learn how to deal with his behavior & teach him appropriate behaviors. Force the school to put him into special ed classes with qualified, trained teachers. If the school doesn't have a special ed class, move him to a school that can meet his needs. But don't drag the poor kid into court, pressing criminal charges. It isn't his fault if he hasn't been taught better, non-violent ways to deal with things. He's only 6 & he has a disability! It is up to his parents to make sure that his needs are being met, that he's learning apropriate behaviors & communication skills (that fit in with his abilities, of course). He can't learn that stuff on his own.

AmyU
09-26-2007, 06:01 AM
Thats what I like about the district I work for they have an autism department. (not the district we live in, I wish it was). I mention this a work yesterday and my boss (who is the head of the autism department at the school) coundn't believe this. All the children in this district with austism go to this school unless they are high functioning. One of the girls I work with sub for this department and she had a large burse on her leg from a child with austism. But as she said she knew what she was getting into, that these children can be violent. I don't think age makes a difference at all in this case, alot of children with austism never reach a high mental age. Some are luck to even learn to talk. Let alone understand our world. I believe this is very wrong, if the person knew anything about austism then they should have know the risk that went with it!

Jackie
09-26-2007, 06:08 AM
EXACTLY, Amy!!! The gal said she "knew what she was getting into". If this lady didn't know, then it was because she was just a body in the room, rather than a REAL "aide".

kyzg
09-27-2007, 12:03 AM
This is American absurdity as it's finest.

Yep, it sure is. I can't believe the stories I hear about things that end up in court--whether they involve children or not.

What's even more tragic is that this situation reached a point where the aid felt it necessary to resort to such an absurd action. As someone mentioned before, maybe this was the only way to bring attention to an ignored problem. If the lawsuit is currently only between the parents & aide, it'll be interesting to see if the aide ends up suing the district.

Actressdancer
09-27-2007, 08:01 AM
If the lawsuit is currently only between the parents & aide, it'll be interesting to see if the aide ends up suing the district.

Sadly, this is not a lawsuit between the parents and the aide. If it were that, I would not be quite so irked. The aide is pressing criminal charges (not a lawsuit) against THE CHILD directly. She's not suing anyone. This is a criminal case that could result in the child facing a criminal punishment if found guilty. Of course, some head shaking needs to be done in the direction of the prosecutor, as well, who obviously decided to press on with the charges.

Jackie
09-27-2007, 08:50 AM
Exactly, Amie! This child is NOT a "criminal"!!! Yes, he needs some kind of intervention and training on controlling behavior, but part of the aide's job is to help with that.

mommix3
09-29-2007, 07:02 PM
I always thought that the parents were responsible for what their child did up until a certain age.

I have 2 cousins who are autistic and to be quite honest they don't know how to deal with anger and fear. They lash out. One has had intervention since he was small the other has had none and you can see a big differance in the two. But they both still have a hard time controlling their emotions. I don't think a child of that age,whether they have a disability or not,should be charged and brought to court. That is going to be very tramatic for this young child. The parents need to take responsiblity for what happened and get some intervention. Perhaps they can find a way to get the charges dropped if they do so.

I don't think that article told the whole story. It was all one sided. I'm sure that's all due to the pending trial. I sure hope,for the childs sake,that the parents step up. I can't imagine anyone who works with children pressing criminal charges unless their was a very good reason. There's definatly more to this story.

Kathy
10-01-2007, 01:12 PM
I also think there's more to the story. I tend to believe parents are ultimately responsible for their childrens actions whether they are disabled or not. I thought the filing against the child was drastic but maybe for a reason-to draw attention to something that has been going on for awhile. When the parents admitted his whining to be bothersome but they find a way to deal with it made me think at first that their way of dealing with him was to send him off to others to be taken care of. I know that sounds harsh but that was my first thought when I read that part. It makes me wonder if his behavior is so bad they don't even want him at home.