Demand Unfair and Unjust Charges Against Autistic 10 Year Old Boy Dropped.

Target: Governor Rick Scott,

Dear Mr. Scott,

Because of a recent arrest of a ten year old child with special needs who told cops “I don’t like to be touched”. Those trumped up charges against a special needs child named “John Benjamin Haygood” was the direct result of a percieved bias against against him, for misbehaving in class on October 27, 2016. Because John Benjamin Haygood was kicking, scratching and punching his teacher after he refused to sit in time-out. And in his class, after his educator told him to quit being disruptive in class by throwing paper balls and hitting other students. On April 19, 2017, John Benjamin Haygood was tricked into going back to Okechobee Achievement Academy for state testing, only to having two school resource officers present. His mother, Luanne Haygood was recording a cell phone video of her son’s arrest, while John was crying and told officers “He doesn’t like to be touched”. The officers refused to listen to him and preceded to escort him out of the school anyway. Discrimination against autistic indivuals is a serious issue; especially legal bias.

Appearantly, the school informed both John Haywood and his mother that there was a warrant for his arrest without and prior notice. This chilling and disturbing video was released recently showing his arrest shows that the criminal justice system is flawed in handling cases regarding criminal charges against special needs people both young and old. Not only should you be outraged by this unjust kid’s arrest, you should also be disgusted and appalled with the way that the Okeechobee Achievement Academy had to deal with an autistic meltdown in class. It is in your power as governor of Florida to stand up for John Haygood’s rights, this kid deserves the light to have legal protection. John Haywood needs mental and psychological counseling; and the right to be in a safe environment in all schools, not traumatization and incarceration. This kid is autistic and he doesn’t understand the concept of concept of legal repercussions. John Haywood’s well being and safety is more important than pressing charges against him for being “assaultive” against his teacher at school. Use your authority to stand up for this unfair injustice against him due to his disability and not his actions itself in class.

Sincerely

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Luanne Haygood

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One Comment

  1. I am appalled that any school in America would think that the best way to deal with behavioral issues in a 10 year old boy is to incarcerate him. Regardless no child should be jailed for being disruptive in class. As a parent of three autistic boys I find it especially troubling that his special needs weren’t taken into consideration. Do not let these injustices go unpunished.

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3 Signatures

  • Kristopher Kirchner
  • Robin Nowak
  • Jacob Siegrist-Whitaker
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