Thursday, March 01, 2007

Can They DO This?

"They" being the legal system, the special ed teacher, the school. I found this through the myspace site that I write on and was just floored. Can they REALLY do this?


Evelyn Burgo
Patricia Genders

6-Year-Old Autistic Boy Charged with Assault II
WHO: Evelyn Burgo
WHAT: Disabled child charged with Assault II for jumping on teacher
WHEN: February 26, 2007
WHERE: Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
WHY: Child attacked special education teacher after repeated warnings from mother of his violent nature

On Monday, February 26, a 6-year-old autistic boy was read his rights and charged with Assault II for jumping on his special education teacher. This arrest was made when he and his mother went to pick up some files at the Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Police Department.

This same special education teacher took out a Temporary Restraining Order against this student and his mother.

Ho'okena School, as well as the teacher and the District Superintendent are well aware of this child's violent outbursts. In the past, he was moved out of a summer school class because he attacked other students. Prior to jumping on his teacher, he was removed from his current classroom because the staff was worried he would hurt himself or others, and kept him in time- out from 10:55 a.m. until his mother picked him up at 2:00 p.m. The school has been asked repeatedly to at the very least provide a one-on-one aide that is trained in the art of dealing with autistic children, or move him to a school for autistic children.

Even with all of this, the school contends they can handle him. All the testing says that this child is at a pre-K level. But he should be at a first grade level.

His mother, Evelyn Burgo, says: "I am at a loss as to what to do. I feel my son needs help, not punishment, and he needs it now, as the window of opportunity to help him is running out.

Many people have told me that I need take this to the media to finally get the help we need, and that is what I hope to do. I have done everything the school has asked and tried to work with them, to no avail. Now, here I am with a disabled 6-year-old with Assault II charges against him.

We are filing for a Fair Hearing. But I understand this will take months and my child is not being educated nor is the school providing any help with his education, even though they know neither he nor I are able to go on school grounds because of the temporary restraining order."

What can Mom do? Anyone? Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't this be something for which the special ed teacher would be prepared, especially working with kids on the spectrum? I'm appalled.


Club 166 said...

Are they supposed to be able to do this? No.

Does this happen? All the time.

My own son was being herded towards this "solution" about a year and a half ago, when he was just 5, and in Kindergarten.

I've got to go to work now, will write more later today/tonight when I get time.

kyra said...

oh my god. i am without words to convey the depth of my disgust and outrage. MY GOD. that sickens me. my heart is aching for that boy. i would let loose a string of swear words but i don't want to offend you. i'll have to save it for my own blog.

THAT ought to be illegal. they ought to arrest THE TEACHER, THE SCHOOL and the POLICE OFFICER who did the paper work. shame on them.

mommyguilt said...

Yeah, I'm just at a loss. Apparently it didn't dawn on them when mom asked for an aide, when mom warned the school that he tends to be violent, but for the love of Pete, a) he's 6, b) he's on the spectrum. They KNEW this. Oh, I could just go on and on. I'm writing a letter to the school.

I encourage everyone, if as disgusted as I am, to do the same.

Club 166 said...

Basically, this person needs a lawyer, and needs one fast.

A lot of things are going to happen within the next couple of weeks (a required IEP meeting, decisions on instruction while in an alternative placement, etc.).

If there is not a good lawyer involved, the school district will steamroll right over this person. Even with a lawyer, it's a bit of a tough go.

The family also needs to bone up on what IDEA 2004 says about this. They can start at the Wrightslaw website here.

I wrote a fuller response to this here.

Tina and Jayce said...

Unreal! Un freaking believable! Poor kiddo :( What is this world coming too!

He's only 6! Law suit against the teacher/school!

Mom without a manual said...

I just wanted to thank you for sharing this story! Crazy! It is infuriating that this situation could have ever gotten this far out of hand! That poor boy (and family)! Someone needs to help them!

Also, I referred to you and this story today in my blog. I hope you don't mind. My posting is more about my frustration with the world right now but I wanted to give you a heads up.

Mom without a manual said...

Check this out!

Would you believe that I found a similar case from the Honolulu Star-bulletin from 2005. A different Kailua school arrested a 7 year old for hitting his aid.

It really looks like two different cases...I posted it on my blog!