Charlotte, NC – A 19-year-old autistic student Devin Riley was placed in handcuffs at Ardrey Kell High School last week when teachers thought he was about to bite them. Devin’s mother, Kim is outraged at the school and has since pulled him out. Kim met with Eyewitness News 9’s Paige Hanson and had this to say about the handcuffing:
“It breaks my heart for him because he doesn’t know. He’s trying and that’s autism.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials confirm that Devin was handcuffed, adding that while this move is a last resort, they have to think about the safety of other students and teachers.
Devin was in a class of seven students and three teachers. The person who handcuffed Devin was a school rescue officer. Kim contends that no matter what happened, no handcuffs should have been used regardless of school policy. In her interview with Eyewitness News 9 she showed Hansen her son’s psychological evaluation completed in July that explicitly states being restricted will aggravate Devin.
According to her, they should have tried other calming tactics first:
“That’s what it is, communication. Not just immediately running in, grabbing handcuffs. No, that is not what you do with a disabled person,”
Currently Kim Riley is working with the CMS to find a school better suited to his needs.
Kim told Paige Hanson.
“He will not be coming back to Ardrey Kell. I don’t feel he’s safe,”
The original article by Paige Hansenon the wsoctv.com website can be read here