A father is outraged, saying Lancaster School District failed his son, who has autism.
Trevor Hibbert took to Facebook to post footage of his son in handcuffs in severe distress in the back of a police car.
Hibbert said his son has autism and had a meltdown at school and had to be restrained. He doesn’t blame law enforcement for the situation, but rather school administrators, who he said let the situation get out of hand.
Hibbert says the school and the district are to blame. He says administrators at Endeavour have been negligent in following the IEP, or individualized education program, the district had in place for Abraham in elementary school. The IEP called for a trained one-on-one aide for Abraham while at school.
According to Hibbert, the aide at Endeavour is sometimes replaced by a non-trained school employee, and that the district should have drafted an updated IEP for Abraham before the new year.
A statement released by the Lancaster School District superintendent read:
“While we cannot comment on all of the details of this child’s services, we all agree that the incident that occurred yesterday is highly regrettable for everyone involved and we will continue to work with the family to support this child.”
Abraham’s father says Monday’s incident is the third time his son has left campus since school started in August. Each incident followed what Abraham’s father calls a “meltdown,” during which Abraham requires space and time to calm down. Instead, Hibbert said school staff has cornered Abraham, prompting him to want to escape.
It was after one of these incidents that Hibbert said the school requested an involuntary psychiatric hold for Abraham that landed the boy in a mental hospital. Hibbert says Endeavour’s administrator has to go.
“They need administrators, not just one-on-one aides, not just special-education teachers, but administrators who understand the scope of autism and what it means and how those children react,” he said.