Shelby Hahn was found roaming around city streets about two miles from Lakeshore Middle School where she reportedly slipped through an unlock gate while her physical education class was ongoing.
She was found by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police officers, who handcuffed her and told her that she was going to jail.
Shelby’s mother, Kathleen Hahn, said the police officers were unaware that Shelby has autism.
District superintendent Nikolai Vitti apologized for the incident and said that they are now conducting an investigation. According to him:
“This matter has been turned over to the appropriate district department for investigation. In the event that there is credible evidence showing that an employee has violated provisions of our policies and/or the Code of Ethics, appropriate action will be taken.”
Shelby’s mom said the incident left her daughter traumatized. She added that even though the district offered its apologies, she and her husband are still hesitant about sending their daughter back to Lakeshore Middle. She told:
“I accept (the apology) up to a point, but I’m not happy with the result.”
Shelby’s family is now contemplating on sending her to a private school through a state-funded scholarship.
Sources: Denise Smith Amos in jacksonville.com District apologizes after Jacksonville student with autism went missing from school
Ken Amaro from First Coast News Lost autistic child put in handcuffs by police