Parents say 10-year-old son with autism was handcuffed, put in patrol car
Federal lawsuit claims boy's civil rights were violated
OSCEOLA, Fla. – Parents of a 10-year-old boy who has autism say the child was handcuffed, put in the back of a patrol car and transported to a mental health facility after he ran from school administrators.
According to a federal lawsuit filed against the School District of Osceola County and the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, the parents claim the incident happened in 2016 at Narcoossee Elementary School.
"It was probably one of our worst days," said Jessica, the boy's mother.
She didn't want her last name being used in order to protect her son, who is now 13 years old.
She told News 6 her son ran away from school staff when he got in trouble for playing too rough at recess.
"Between the school resource officer and a couple of the administration, they tackled him, put him in handcuffs and put him in the back of a squad car and Baker Acted him," said Corey, the boy's father.
According to the federal lawsuit, the couple claims, "The staff at Narcoossee Elementary School failed to give (their son) his prescribed medication."
"I didn't know until we were sitting at the table that he wasn't given his medicine that was prescribed," Jessica said. "According to the doctor and according to the pharmacist, had he had his medicine at the time of recess, his behavior would've been under control."
Spokespeople for Osceola schools and the Sheriff's Office told News 6 they don't comment on open lawsuits, although the Sheriff's Office supplied a copy of policies and procedures used for holding someone under the Baker Act.
"They need to understand what's happening, and what's going on with kids -- especially special needs kids, like this," said the boy's father. "It's becoming a real problem, and we don't want to see that happen to any other kids."
As a result of being handcuffed and put in a patrol car, the boy's parents said their son now has difficulty with men and authority figures.
They said he's also not attending Narcoossee Elementary School anymore, as they've chosen a different school for him to attend.
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