Charges Dropped Against Autistic Student
More news on this situation today…
Charges Against Autistic Girl Dropped; Please Sign Petition to Help Emily Holcomb
Submitted by Landon Bryce on Mon, 12/12/2011 – 12:21
Last week, I wrote about Emily Holcomb, a 14-year-old autistic girl who was charged with felony assault after slapping her teacher. Fortunately, the charges against Emily have been dropped and she will now be allowed to return to school. However, there are serious concerns regarding her education.
I urge you to read and sign the petition that Lydia has created to help Emily:
The teacher who restrained Emily for nearly an hour has only a week of training about autism. While now allowed to return to school, as the charges were dropped on Friday 9 December 2011, her mother rightfully fears returning Emily to the same environment with the same teacher whose lack of training taught her that it was okay to physically restrain an Autistic person instead of educating her.
14 Year-Old Autistic Student Charged with Felony Assault
Those with an interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders should check this out…
School Files Felony Assault Charges Against Nonverbal Autistic Girl
Submitted by Landon Bryce on Fri, 12/09/2011 – 06:43
During the alleged assault on October 26, the teacher reported Emily hit and pushed her resulting in a ‘mild injury’. In the complaint, Superintendent Hollingsworth noted its happened on more than one occasion.
Emily’s mother says it was a violent act but just Emily’s way of expressing frustration. “You have think about it — she’s trapped inside that body. And when people can’t understand her it gets frustrating.”
Emily’s mother and her attorney — James Gallini question the timing of the charge. Gallini says they had just settled an agreement with the school system to provide Emily’s teachers a professional aide “for training, dealing with her level of autism,” said Gallini. He believes the charge was an effort to get out of and circumvent the costly agreement. “At that point, it took it out of the special ed into the juvenile system.”
Lydia at Autistic Hoya urges us to take action:
Why do school systems feel the need to criminalize autism? This blog tends to focus on issue and philosophy centered articles related to autism and advocacy, but this horrific, tragic turns of events is only more evidence of the deeply-rooted systemic problems in the way our country looks at differently-abled or disabled people, especially Autistic people. And something needs to be done. And something can be done — by you and I, sitting here and reading this post. In fact, I’ve already created a Facebook group where you can read about the case and see updates.But for now, what can you actually do to help? You can write, email, or call the school’s superintendent who filed the complaint, the district attorney of Marion County, and the deputy district attorney who seems to be handling the case, asking them to drop the case and any charges. Emily needs help, and she needs help now. This isn’t some fancy theorizing or overly intellectual model of some idea — this is the life of an actual person whom someone is trying to destroy.
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