Autistic student dragged down hallways by teacher and nurse

LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC) – A Lexington mom wants answers about surveillance video capturing her autistic 11-year old son Thatcher being dragged through the halls by a teacher and a school nurse at Tates Creek Middle School.

“I’m just like, why would they do that?” said Thatcher’s mother, Jo Grayson.

At one point, the pair is seen on the video dragging Thatcher up a flight of stairs.  Thatcher’s service dog was forced to follow along.  Thatcher, who has non-verbal autism, is visibly uncomfortable in the video.

“He’s clearly screaming, he doesn’t want them to do this,” said Grayson.

Jo Grayson says the teacher texted her saying Thatcher refused to stand, so they picked him up.  At home, Grayson noticed bumps and bruises on her son’s body and turned to the school with questions.

The incident has now prompted investigations by school officials and state authorities.

“He’ll remember this for the rest of his life, autism or no autism, any kid would remember that,” said Grayson.

In a statement to ABC News, the district said, “Incidents of this nature are isolated.”  And, “There is absolutely no tolerance for the conduct of the employee in this incident.”  Adding, “the teacher involved in this instance is no longer employed with the Fayette County Public Schools.”

Grayson believes the incident, isolated or not, points to a bigger issue.  And, says teachers should have better training to handle students with disabilities like Thatcher.

Grayson says this whole incident was a developmental setback for Thatcher.  And, that the fact that he’s nonverbal and can’t tell her when something has happened, makes her more nervous about sending him back to school.


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