The East Ridge Elementary School has negated the news about labeling a five-year-old autistic boy as a sexual predator. With this negation, there’s a conflict on both sides of the picture.
The child’s guardian, Summery Putnam has said that three weeks ago she got a call from the school. And the teachers there claimed that her son Nathan had overstepped boundaries. Besides this, they labeled Nathan as a sexual predator.
Autism and misunderstanding social situations
Nathan’s family has said that his Tennessee school has labeled him as a sexual offender. And accused Nathan of sexual harassment and sexual abuse as he kissed and hugged his classmates while playing.
Summery has told that sometimes his son’s autism can make him misinterpret social situations. But the school states that the family isn’t sharing the complete context of the concerns. And the reason for contacting family wasn’t a hug or kiss.
Summery said that the teacher called her and stated that she needs to have a talk with her son about boundaries. She said that listening to this suggestion made her sick to her stomach. Because the school didn’t understand that her son is just a five-year-old child.
Tim Hensley, spokesman of the Hamilton County Department has also given his statement regarding this matter. And has said that the child’s family isn’t sharing the full background of concerns expressed by the school. Where the issue wasn’t a kiss or hug that provoked contact with the family.
Moreover, the child received no punishment from the school. As the only thing the school is interested in is the wellbeing of a very young child while he learns and grows with his class-fellows at East Ridge Elementary.
Law bounds the school district
Tim Hensley has further added that the law bounds the school district. And doesn’t allow the discussion about anything happening in the classrooms. But the County Department will welcome Nathan’s family favoring the release for the district to disclose the documentation of the issues discussed with them.
The school has no means to label a child as a sexual predator. And the law has bound staff members to report the matter of concern to the Department of Children Services (DCS). Then the DCS decides if there is a need to look into the reported issue.
For filing a typical report with DCS, behaviors noticed at school will point out the need for a child’s protection. And the staff of East Ridge has always opted to take any action that will place the concern related to the child as the top priority.
Summery states that his child’s autism can make him misunderstand social circumstances. She has also added that a person who doesn’t know how autism works, will think that Nathan is acting out or being defiant. However, this isn’t the actual situation.
Nathan understands and functions very differently as compared to typical 5-year old children. And he doesn’t know if he is doing something wrong. Nathan’s grandmother has claimed that this label as a sex predator will remain in his record for the rest of the life. And he doesn’t deserve to receive such treatment.