ST. LUCIE CO., FL (WCMH) — A 10-year-old with autism was handcuffed, placed into a police car, and taken from an Okeechobee county school last week.
His mother, LuAnne Haygood, captured the entire video and posted it to Facebook.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t understand,” the boy cries out. In the video, he is handcuffed as two officers escort him to the back seat of a police car.
“I was extremely angry,” LuAnne told CNN affiliate WPBF. “I felt like this was a power play. I felt like this was a ‘This is what you get. You can’t do anything about it. We’re going to arrest your son if he can’t abide by the rules.’”
The sheriff’s office says John Haygood was arrested for felony battery on a school board authority.
His mother says this stems from when he kicked a paraprofessional at Okeechobee Alternative Academy back in October.
“He didn’t feel good with a paraprofessional. He told me that, and I told him, ‘You got to go back to school.’ He said, ‘I don’t want to go back to school. I don’t like him. I don’t like him. he hurts me.”
John’s mother does not deny her son’s troubled history in school, but says his autism is responsible for his behavior.
In October, John was expelled from school and forced to complete work from home. But Wednesday, when he reported back to school for the first time in 5 months for state testing, things didn’t go as planned.
“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 anytime to tell me what was going on,” LuAnne said.
She said she is fed up, and calling out the school district for not providing the right resources to handle a child like John.
“If I let my emotions go, I’m going to lose it,” she said. “I’m going to cry, cuss, rant, and rave. Nobody will listen to me. Oh, that’s the crazy lady or whatever. I want something done. I want other kids to not have to go through this.”