Boy with autism ‘wasn’t doing anything wrong’ when school employee knocked him down: Mom

Harris Marley

Global Courant

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

A horrifying video clip shows a Dayton, Ohio, school employee run after a three-year-old, non-verbal boy with autism, knock the child to the floor by hitting him on the head and carry him upside down by his ankles.

What preceded and followed the 17-second video on Aug. 21 in the Rosa Parks Early Learning school is unknown, but his parents want answers and said the school district hasn’t been forthcoming.

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“He wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Taneshia Lindsay, Tootle’s mom said. “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.”

The employee, a paraprofessional (teacher’s aide) who wasn’t named, was placed on administrative leave but has since resigned “in lieu of termination,” the Dayton school district said in a statement. 

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Braylen Tootle, a three-year-old, non-verbal boy with autism, was seen being knocked to the floor by a Dayton, Ohio, school employee and carried upside down by his ankles (Family handout via Wright and Schulte)

Lindsay said district officials initially told them Tootle was “swatted on the back of his head” by a school employee and downplayed how violent the event was. 

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After emailing the school district three times, Lindsay said she finally received the video on Monday. 

“When she (the school principal) let us know, it wasn’t the full truth,” Lindsay said during a press conference. “As you guys can see, it was way worse than that.”

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The Dayton Public School employee, who hasn’t been named, has resigned in lieu of termination according to the school district for this incident on Aug. 21 (Lawfirm of Wright and Schulte)

Their lawyer, Michael Wright, said the school “lied to this family,” which delayed Tootle’s parents from getting their son proper medical care. 

They said he’s doing better now, but doctors continue to monitor him. 

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What’s even more concerning is “there’s still another part of the video” they haven’t seen, Braylen’s dad, Robert Tootle, said.  

“That’s my main thing. What we already seen is bad enough, so what’s missing?” he said. 

Braylen Tootle, a three-year-old, non-verbal boy with autism, was seen being knocked to the floor by a Dayton, Ohio, school employee and carried upside down by his ankles (Lawfirm of Wright and Schulte)

And why was he running? Lindsay asked. “Maybe it wasn’t playful. I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t know the before, I don’t know the after because they cut that off.”

That’s going to be part of the investigations by the district, as well as the Montgomery County Prosecutors, which is reviewing the evidence but didn’t say if there will be charges. 

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Wright said in an emailed statement Saturday that they’re contemplating legal action and want the employee arrested. 

The Superintendent Dr. David Lawrence said in a statement on Friday that “immediately upon viewing the video,” the district contacted Human Resources, the Department of Safety and Security and the Ohio Department of Education to open an investigation. 

Braylen Tootle, a three-year-old, non-verbal boy with autism, was seen being knocked to the floor by a Dayton, Ohio, school employee and carried upside down by his ankles (Lawfirm of Wright and Schulte)

The Dayton Public School superintendent issued this statement on Friday (Dayton Public School District)

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In a statement Wednesday, Lawrence said that the district is taking additional measures to ensure that employees are “properly trained and qualified.”

“As a reminder, the safety of all students is our utmost priority, and we would like to thank families for their support as we work to ensure a safe school environment for all learners,” he said.

District officials will meet with Rosa Parks Early Learning families early next week, Lawrence said. 

Chris Eberhart is a crime and US news reporter for Fox News Digital. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter @ChrisEberhart48.


Boy with autism ‘wasn’t doing anything wrong’ when school employee knocked him down: Mom

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