Seriously? Where Are the Services for This Kid?!

MOBILE, Ala. — Billy Bass shakes the hands of dozens of people who’ve turned out to support his 12-year-old son…a boy being booked into the Strickland Youth Center after an alleged run in with his teacher at Causey Middle School. “A 12-year-old autistic child charged with felony for grabbing a teacher’s arm,” said Billy Bass.

Parents and caregivers for special education students say instead of helping kids with disabilities stay in class with their peers – schools are turning to youth detention centers. “We feel like child shouldn’t be criminalized or made a criminal in [this] situation,” added Candy Knickerbocker, a parent of a special needs child.

Parents say their beef isn’t with the juvenile justice system – but the school system for sending a 12-year-old autistic child to Strickland. They say putting him through the court system isn’t the answer.

“Why are you using the court system to help an autistic child with discipline problem?” questioned Bass.

The Bass’ say they know their child isn’t perfect – they also know he isn’t like every other child either. They say he was diagnosed with a form of hi-functioning autism – that means he has very limited social skills – and needs one-on-one assistance during the school day…something his parents say he isn’t getting and that can trigger a rage cycle like the one involving the teacher.

What does the school system have to say? Spokesperson – Nancy Pierce says under federal law she isn’t allowed to comment on a particular case. The 12-year-old boy has a court hearing set for Tuesday morning at Strickland – his parents say he is facing felony harassment and assault charges.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. awalkabout
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 20:12:21

    Holy cow! If he’s got the diagnosis there are special protections in school for behavior in line with his disabilities…they need a lawyer. *nod*

    babs

    Reply

  2. ronanjames
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 21:08:53

    So true!
    I bet they’ll get that lawyer now! And hopefully the services this poor kid needs too!

    xoxo,
    Ronan’s Mama

    Reply

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