An incident at the Rosa Parks Early Learning Center in Dayton, OH involving an autistic 3-year-old child has parents seeking answers from public school officials, states Dayton Daily News. The matter occurred on Aug. 21. Local police said they have investigated, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office is reportedly considering charges, and Child Protective Services has also launched an investigation.
A 17-second surveillance video shows 3-year-old Braylen Tootle running down the hallway with a school employee in pursuit. The child is then hit on the back of the head by the staff member hard enough to knock him to the ground. The adult then picks Braylen up by the legs upside down and carries him down the hallway that way before another employee runs toward him. The video does not show what happened before or after those actions.
Braylen, who is autistic and nonverbal, could not tell his parents, Robert Tootle and Taneshia Lindsay, what happened. They were reportedly not immediately notified, but were instead informed later in the day by the principal of the school when they came to pick up their child. The parents are now working with local attorney Michael Wright to get answers.
Taneshia commented on the matter during a press conference, saying, “He wasn’t doing anything wrong. You could have bear-hugged him. You could have let another teacher do it. I don’t know what was going on in that man’s head, but my son did not deserve that.”
Wright added that they have not yet seen the entire video of the incident and have not been told whether the employee was certified to work with children with special needs. The lawyer continued, “We want answers. We’re demanding answers and we want them immediately.”
The employee, who has not been named, has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.
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