94 days ago, our son went to his public school, much like any other day. He was an autistic special education student, who is significantly learning disabled and on a regimen of prescription medications for a number of psychiatric disorders. That day, we began to worry when he did not come home after school.
What we did not know was that early on that morning, armed police officers had entered our son's classroom, handcuffed him, and taken him away to be interrogated without a call to us or any attorney, then locked up for several days.
On that very bad day, he was arrested at approximately 8:30 a.m., PST.
Today, at approximately 8:30 a.m., PST, due to a judge's order, he will return to his school.
And his bravery astounds me.
A front page article in Tuesday's Inland Empire Press Enterprise gives specific details about the judge's order. I strongly suggest that you read it. Here's an excerpt.
The parents of an autistic student accused of selling marijuana last year to an undercover deputy have prevailed in their effort to have the teen reinstated at the Temecula high school.And there's an op-ed released today. Again, a strongly suggested read.
An administrative law judge who heard the special education student’s case issued a scathing ruling against the Temecula Valley Unified School District Friday, March 8. Judge Marian H. Tully wrote the district left the student “to fend for himself, anxious and alone, against an undercover police officer” and said the parents had “overwhelmingly demonstrated” that the teen’s behavior with the deputy was significantly influenced by his disability.
An Office of Administrative Hearings judge who heard the case challenging a move to expel the special education student, Tully found that the district failed to provide the teen with required counseling and other services while knowingly exposing the teen to the deputy.
Dealing with pressure from the officer was a challenging social situation that “would have been difficult even for typical high school students,” the judge wrote.
The judge ordered the district to reinstate the teen’s enrollment at Chaparral High School within five days.
Heartbreak for the RivCo sheriff and assorted officials — including the director of child welfare — of the Temecula Valley school district.
If you can’t sucker, pressure or manipulate an autistic teenager into selling marijuana, and then arrest him and expel him from high school…well, just how demoralizing, how heartbreaking, is that for our law enforcement and education professionals?
For those who are new to this story, here are some links for background: