Okeechobee County, FL — John Haygood has autism. As a result of his autism, he often acts out at school — a school that is apparently too unqualified to deal with him. Because they are like most schools in America today, officials turned to police force to solve their problems for them, instead of helping the 10-year-old boy.
This week, two Okeechobee County sheriff’s deputies ambushed the little boy on his first day back at school since the incident last November. Instead of going to his home and talking to his parents, police waited until the child came to school to handcuff him in front of all of his peers.
“To go and have him arrested on school grounds in front of other students, in front of personnel, during school hours, they could’ve come to my house at any time to tell me what was going on,” the boy’s mother, Louanne Haygood said.
In November of last year, John was suspended and homebound after an incident in which he became overly upset and kicked a paraprofessional. Instead of working out a plan to make sure this never happens again, the school called the cops and a warrant for felony battery on a school official was issued for the 10-year-old boy.
As WPTV reports, Haygood says her son kicked the teacher because he didn’t feel safe with that particular employee.
“It was because of his autism that spurred this incident. And he was arrested for that,” said Haygood.
Haygood admits her son has had several behavioral issues in the past but says it should have never resulted in an arrest, according to the report.
Haygood says both police and the school district need to be better equipped to handle children with special needs — an understatement at best.
Six months would go by before police took any action on the warrant, opting to grab him at his school. When John and his mother showed up for testing, cops were there waiting as if it were some sort of sting operation.
Haygood began recording the incident after police refused to give her a reason or show her a warrant for her son’s arrest. The resultant video is heartbreaking.
“Don’t touch me, please. I don’t like to be touched,” little John says as he pleads with officers as they put the 10-year-old boy in handcuffs.
The two deputies then proceed to bring the boy to the patrol car in a heartbreaking walk.
“When he was saying, ‘I don’t understand mama, I don’t understand. What’s going on’? That broke my heart,” said Haygood.
The 10-year-old child with autism was handcuffed, put in a police car and taken from his school. He was then thrown in jail where he would spend the night before appearing in front of a judge the next day and finally released back to his mother.
Yes, this little boy kicked a teacher’s aid, an action that should not be tolerated. However, to have that incident lead to a young child being kidnapped and locked in a cage is as asinine as it is frightening.
Below is the heartbreaking video.
Sadly, as schools across the country rely more and more on police to force student compliance, instead of training and common sense, this scenario becomes more common.
In December, the Free Thought Project reported on 6-year-old Nicholas, who is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Nicholas was kidnapped from his elementary school by police and imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital.
He was held, including multiple stints in a ‘seclusion room,’ for three days at River Point Behavioral Health — for a temper tantrum at school.
If a 6-year-old boy was taken by police from a school and locked in an isolation room in the 90’s, you can rest assured that this would not fly. The same goes for a 10-year-old boy with autism getting arrested in thrown in a cage. Now, however, police force as a reaction to childhood problems has become the go-to approach in the land of the free.
In May, we reported on the video showing a San Antonio Independent School District police officer body slam a 12-year-old girl. In February, the Free Thought Project brought you the story of the Baltimore School cop who was seen beating a student who had done nothing wrong.
In fact, recent videos have revealed a myriad of school cops attacking unarmed students. In December, Officer Rigo Valles was cleared of any wrongdoing after grabbing a student by the neck and slamming him to the floor. In October, Richland County Deputy Ben Fields was fired after students recorded him flipping over a girl’s desk and dragging her across the floor. Oklahoma City Master Sgt. Thomas Jaha was charged with assault and battery in October as well, after repeatedly punching a student in the face for not having a hall pass.
In November 2015, prosecutors agreed to dismiss assault charges against Louisville Metro Police Officer Jonathan Hardin for punching a student in the face if the former officer completes anger management classes. Hardin still faces wanton endangerment, official misconduct, and assault charges for choking another student unconscious in a separate incident five days later. In separate incidents earlier this year, school cops have also been caught attacking an autistic boy, body-slamming a child, and raping nearly two dozen students.
And these are the ones the public knows about. How many more incidents, just like this one, go unreported and unpunished?
What this data illustrates is the societal dependence on the state to solve matters that should be handled without government. Being dependent upon the state to solve one’s problems is a de facto dependency upon violence.
“THE STATE REPRESENTS VIOLENCE IN A CONCENTRATED AND ORGANIZED FORM. THE INDIVIDUAL HAS A SOUL, BUT AS THE STATE IS A SOULLESS MACHINE, IT CAN NEVER BE WEANED FROM VIOLENCE TO WHICH IT OWES ITS VERY EXISTENCE.” -MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI
If you truly want a glimpse into the horrid effects of the police state on all school children, take a scroll through our archives, at this link.
Until people wake up to the reality of relying on a system of violence to maintain “order” and behavior compliance, we can expect this problem to get worse.