LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)- A Lexington mother says her child with autism came home from school with cuts and bruises across his upper body. Newly released surveillance video shows the child being dragged through the school by a teacher and Lexington-Fayette County Health Department nurse.
Jo Grayson says Friday, Sept. 14 was a long day for her 11-year-old son, Thatcher, a student at Tates Creek Middle School. He has autism, is mostly non-verbal, epilepsy, celiac, and hypermobility. That day started with speech therapy, then community-based instruction and that was before he got on the bus to school.
Jo says things went downhill quickly from there.
“My son was having a meltdown. He refused to get up off the gym floor, and a teacher and a school nurse dragged him down a hallway until they could get him to the resource classroom,” Grayson told LEX 18.“The teacher had messaged me that they had to pick him off of the gym floor earlier in the day. But she did not say that he was dragged down the hallway,” said Grayson.
Video provided by Grayson appears to show a young boy with his service dog being picked up and dragged down a long hallway after refusing to get up. Because of his communication difficulties, Jo wasn’t aware of what happened, until she saw the cuts and marks on Thatcher’s body.
Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis reached out to LEX 18 to issue a statement.
“The allegations made are serious and I know Fayette County Schools take them seriously. I trust that the district will fully investigate the incident and make decisions accordingly. Across our system and with all students, we must continually ensure that students are treated with dignity and respect. Their safety and well-being are our top priority,” said Lewis.
The Fayette County School System released this statement: “We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and take any and all reports of this nature seriously. While we cannot discuss individual personnel matters, we can say that in a situation involving these types of allegations, we would make a report to the cabinet for health and family services and place the employee involved on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.”
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department released a statement regarding the school health nurse allegedly involved, “A school health nurse has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. We continue to work with Fayette County Public Schools to investigate the matter. We cannot comment further at this time.”