DELAND, Fla. – A Florida mother is speaking out after her 12-year-old son, who has autism, was placed in handcuffs after being tackled by a school resource officer (SRO) ,leading to his expulsion from DeLand Middle School.
Danielle Torres, the concerned mother, alleges that her son, AJ, was left emotionally scarred following an incident involving a SRO last month. AJ was reportedly going through a crisis when the incident occurred.
“They were very sorry for what took place, but it doesn’t fix what you’ve done to my child,” said Danielle.
School authorities were informed that AJ “will not comply with school admin and has battered several staff members.” Police say AJ was overheard making threats to others and himself. As he attempted to leave the school and ventured into the parking lot, the SRO intercepted him and tackled him to the ground.
“Why would you tackle him? Why couldn’t you just grab him? Obviously, he’s not a 6-foot child. He is only a 4-foot-8 child,” stated Danielle.
Before the SRO took her son into custody, school staff reported that he had been wandering on campus for over an hour and was attempting to run into oncoming traffic, a situation referred to as “eloping from school.”
“He does stuff out of anger that he doesn’t realize he’s doing because he has a processing issue,” explained AJ’s mother.
AJ’s mother now reveals that he has been expelled from the school. She wishes that both school staff and the SRO would have managed the situation differently, considering her son’s disability.
“I want justice for AJ. I want to see that there’s more training for these officers. They have what they need for these children,” she said.
A spokesperson for the department has announced plans to release the body-camera video of the incident shortly, shedding more light on this situation.
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