Update: Another nightmare story was published just today about a case in Baltimore, Maryland last year: Bodycam footage shows Baltimore school cop handcuffing autistic student, 11, for 23 minutes and leaving him with a broken wrist bone after he got into a fight with another child for bullying him
Mr. Rogers told children to "find the helpers," when they needed assistance. Below, Anne Dachel wrote up a horrendous story from North Carolina, where the "helper" in this case a police officer, brutally forced a 7 year old boy with autism into submission. Where were the teachers? The school behaviorist? The school psychologist? The paras who know the child? Nowhere to be found it seems, in this the Age of Autism. Our children's needs have grown exponentially while services, supports, training have withered and died on the vine. Everywhere. The child is SEVEN years old and already in an "alternative" school. These programs are for students who used to be called "Emotionally Disturbed." He's SEVEN. About the Pressly School and its "convenient" location. La de dah.
Pressly School is Iredell-Statesville’s alternative/non-traditional school serving students grades K-12. Pressly is centrally located at 222 Knox Street in Statesville, NC, making the location convenient for the entire district.
Pressly offers small classrooms, onsite counseling through a partnership with Children’s Hope Alliance, vocational opportunities through a partnership with CATS and other services tailored to the needs of the students.
Pressly serves students who have committed board policy violations. We also serve students that:
Have dropped out of school and wish to re-enroll
Need extra mental health support
Face extraordinary life circumstances that prevent them from attending a traditional school day
Need more intense academic and behavioral support
Pressly offers a variety of programs to meet the individual needs of each student.
By Anne Dachel
Police officer to the 7 year old boy : “…You ever been charged with a crime before? You ever been charged before? Well, you’re fixing to. …
“Don’t make a wrong move, period. … If you my friend are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be very shortly. …”
Police officer to the mother: “I’m the arresting officer. He’s spitting a lot. …He kicked me, he’s been scratching, he’s beating his head against the floor, that’s why the pillow’s there. He’s combative.
“He is going to be charged with one count of assault, maybe two….”
Oct 12, 2020, NY Post: North Carolina mom sues after 7-year-old autistic son cuffed (video)
A North Carolina mom is suing after her autistic 7-year-old boy was handcuffed by a school resource officer and taunted for nearly 40 minutes for allegedly spitting, according to court papers and body camera video.
The incident unfolded on Sept. 11, 2018 at Pressly Alternative school in Statesville after the boy — identified in court papers as L.G. — was taken by his teacher and two aides to a “quiet room” to calm down.
The officer, Michael Fattaleh, “purported to have seen L.G. spit on the floor, as [he] walked past the ‘quiet room'” then telling the three staffers, “he’s mine now,” alleges a lawsuit filed Friday in North Carolina federal court by the boy’s mother.
The 38-year-old then forced the child onto the floor, cuffed and taunted him for the next 38 minutes, according to the suit and a body camera footage obtained by a local reporter through a court order, the Charlotte Observer reported.
“How in the world would anyone think it was appropriate to handcuff, pin down and taunt a 7-year-old boy with autism? It is incomprehensible,” the mom’s lawyer Alex Heroy told The Post. “His mother thought she was doing the right thing by sending him to a school where he could get extra help and attention, all for the system to fail in the worst way possible.”
Fattaleh — who knew the boy had special needs — allegedly asked the child, “ever been charged before?” and told him “If you, my friend, are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be shortly,” the court documents say.
The officer also said at one point as he was kneeling on the boy’s back, “have you ever heard the term babysitter? I take that term literally, my friend,” the court papers allege.
During the encounter, the 4-foot-6, 80-pound child cried for Fattaleh to let him go, saying, “Ow! My knee! My knee! It really hurts!” the suit claims.
Finally, the boy was released by a different officer when his mom, identified in court papers as A.G., arrived at the school. Fattaleh told the mother her son would be charged “with one count of assault, maybe two,” the court documents claim.
The boy — who went to the hospital with scratches and bruises — was never suspended or disciplined by the school. He returned the next day but was sent home early after becoming “extremely anxious and agitated,” the complaint says.
The mother is now homeschooling the boy, the court papers say.
The suit names Fattaleh, Statesville and the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education as defendants for negligence and other claims arguing that a special education teacher, teaching assistant and other employees “stood idly by and failed and refused to intervene, despite training and knowledge of the immense harm being done to L.G.”
The mom is suing for unspecified damages.
Fattaleh was placed on leave before eventually resigning. He did not immediately return a message left with his ex-wife.
The city and the Board of Education did not immediately return requests for comment.