Autistic child charged with biting teacher

Mar 31, 2008 Read more: www.tiftongazette.com

An eight-year-old student at Horizon Academy school bit his teacher Thursday morning and was charged with battery. This, after a paraprofessional had bitten a child and not fired for it nor arrested. Related Parapro story here: http://www.tiftongazette.com/local/local_story_084225445.html

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Mary Beth

Tifton, GA

#1 Apr 1, 2008
The Horizon Academy is not a public school here in Tifton, in fact most people in Tifton had never heard of it until this incident happened. I myself have an autistic son and I've never heard of it. My son goes to public schools and I have had nothing but support and understanding from the school system. As the parent of a child with autism I am very disappointed and alarmed that this could happen. I don't think ANY child, autistic or not should be charged with Battery for biting. I don't think we are getting the whole story here, it sounds to me like this teacher is singling this kid out for some reason. I expect we will hear more about this in the upcoming days.
DivingNails- editor

United States

#2 Apr 2, 2008
Mary Beth wrote:
The Horizon Academy is not a public school here in Tifton, in fact most people in Tifton had never heard of it until this incident happened.
Horizon Academy IS a part of the public school system... it is the former CPES program(Psychoeducational school) it is located behind Northside Elementary and is a part of the special ed services within the county.
Mary Beth

Tifton, GA

#3 Apr 2, 2008
Actually according to the Tift Co Board of Education it is not in their public school system. It is located on Northside Elementary's property and although some special needs children do go there for "extra" help they are in no way tied to the Georgia public school system. That came out of the horse's mouth.
DivingNails- editor

United States

#4 Apr 2, 2008
Any way you look at it, Horizon Academy has opened itself up to a huge lawsuit. Federal law prohibits use of maximum punishment for these children. They cannot be expelled from school, they cannot suspend them for more than a total of 11 days out of a single school year, and they cannot be prosecuted for actions that happen when it is a result/trait of their "disability".

Even if it is a "private" school, the public school system is contributing money to it. They are probably a part of the new waiver system, but they have to realize that the same federal laws designed to protect your own son do NOT just apply to the public school system. They apply to ANYONE in the education business.

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