A mother in Kentucky is speaking out after her autistic son came home with multiple injuries afters school recently.
According to CNN, Jo Grayson said her son’s middle-school teacher texted her to inform her of an issue at in the classroom that day. She said the message did not mention the fact that teachers dragged Thatcher, who is described as mostly nonverbal, down the hallway and left multiple scrapes and bruises on his body following a disruptive outburst.
“The nurse and I had to physically help him get up off the gym floor,” the teacher texted. “He wouldn’t move and other kids were trying to play. I apologize if he has marks on him.”
Grayson said she was unprepared for the extent of the injuries and shared pictures of some of them on social media.
“I just don’t understand how someone can do this to a child, let alone to a person with disabilities,” the mother said. “I want the school district to take action and not just install cameras in every room of each school but also train their staff accordingly so they know how to handle children with disabilities or rough situations with children like Thatcher.”
Hours after Thatcher returned home from sixth grade at Tates Creek Middle School in Lexington on the day his mother received the text, she said she discovered several abrasions.
“We were getting ready for bed, and when I pulled his shirt off, I saw cuts and bruises on his body,” Grayson said. “That didn’t look like marks of someone helping him get up.”
She has since filed a complaint with the local district attorney. Her attorney secured the release of surveillance footage apparently showing the two adults dragging the child down the hallway, following by his service dog.
The school district issued a statement calling this an “isolated” incident.
“Our training is very explicit that physical restraint is a last resort only to be used when a student is a danger to themselves or others,” spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall wrote. “The training also shows employees the proper ways to hold or transport students. In this case, neither of those standards were met.”
The nurse involved in the incident has reportedly been placed on paid leave by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department pending the outcome of an investigation. No criminal charges had been filed as of this writing.