Justice and a Better Way

This story got me worked up.  I want to be straight with that up front.  This is a friend’s story that happened recently. The details are a little spotty, I just remember getting mad when I heard this.  Mad for her and her son, and mad for our country.

Her son has Autism, I’ll call him John.  I don’t know where he falls on the spectrum, but he goes to a public school in my county.  He was having a bad day at school.  The He started chanting “I gotta get the key, I gotta get he key, I gotta get the key…” He was talking about his house key. He had already shown signs to the teacher that he was having a bad day. He couldn’t be consoled.

So I pick up with Mom on the phone with the Principle and she overhears a teacher yelling at John as he goes out the door.  There’s a police officer there by now.  Mom hangs up and is on her way to the school.  John runs from the “crowd” following him.  Finally the crowd backs off and John goes straight home.  John will be suspended, and Mom and Dad are meeting with they’re lawyer.

I’m sorry, but did the You[educators involved] completely miss any news about Autism in the last 10 years?  Try a website or a parents blog.  Even watching the show Parenthood would be slightly helpful!  I’m not an advocate by any stretch and I know if a kid on the Autism spectrum gets has far as John got that day, he is going to go home.  So let him.

I know, the school can’t just let a kid leave. But this isn’t the first time John has had a bad day.  I’m talking about a school in small town America.  This is not Compton, this is Mayberry.  [What’s left of it anyway.  Not that Mayberry is utopia. {That’s another post for another day I guess.}]  If it were socially aware Mayberry, they would have let the kid go home and send a Officer out to the house to see if he made it there. Why not have someone “tail” him home?  Anyone who’s watched prime time in the last 20 years [CSI, Law & Order, etc.]  knows how to follow someone without being discovered.  In theory anyway.

I’m just upset for my friend and her son.

The structures are too rigid to accommodate actual kids sometimes.  Most of the time keeping kids in school will be the safest thing to do.   Sometimes though, its not emotionally the safest place.  In this instance, our schools have a long way to go.  Specifically this school.  I hope they can work it out for the betterment of this child and others that have problems that aren’t solved by broad policies.    Sorry “John” looks like you have to be a pioneer.


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