teacher, autistic child

Parents Of Non-Verbal Autistic Boy Demand Answers After Disturbing Video Of School Staff Hitting Son

The parents of a non-verbal  autistic boy are demanding answers after surveillance video caught an employee striking their son, ABC News reported.

The Dayton Public Schools employee was seen on video chasing 3-year-old Braylen Tootle on Aug. 21 in the hallway of Rosa Parks Early Learning Center. As the teacher caught up with him, the video appears to show him hitting the child, causing Tootle to fall and hit his head. Then, the teacher picked him up by his feet, carrying Tootle away upside down.

During a press conference on Sept. 13, the child’s mother, Taneshia Lindsay, spoke out about what could have been done instead.

“He wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Lindsay said. “You could have bear-hugged him. You could have let another teacher do it. I don’t know what was going on in that man’s head, but my son did not deserve that.”

Tootle’s family said they learned of the incident after picking their son up from school, but officials were vague with details. They only received the video after Child Protective Services contacted them and told them there was video footage, saying it was “way worse than what the school put on paper.”

Family lawyer, Michael Wright, claims his clients have yet to see the entire video.

“We want answers. We’re demanding answers and we want them immediately,” Wright said.

Lindsay and the boy’s father, Robert Tootle, are curious if the teacher, who hasn’t been identified, had credentials to work with special needs children.

After the employee was suspended, DPS Interim Superintendent, Dr. David Lawrence, confirmed with WHIOTV7 that the employee has been fired.

“Although the District cannot publicly comment on specific personnel matters, parents and guardians should be assured that the individual is no longer employed,” Lawrence said. “The safety of all students and staff is the District’s utmost priority, and we appreciate the support of families as we work to provide a safe school environment for all.”

Lindsay said that’s not good enough.

Calling the incident assault, Lindsay feels the former employee should have never been able to leave school property.

“That is clearly assault on that video. That man should not have left that school, he should not be in society around other people’s kids,” Lindsay said. “We don’t know what this man is doing. He should have been locked up.”

Doctors have been treating Braylen since the incident and his parents say they are waiting to see if there will be any long-term effects. The parents announced during the press conference the fear that something would happen to their son, and spoke out for other parents of autistic children.

“You say something to a kid that’s non-verbal, you don’t get a response, so we wouldn’t know,” Tootle said.

“Our kids need help, society needs to be educated on autism, and they need to be trained to deal with these kids,” Lindsay said.

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