An autistic man in Waxahachie, Texas, was banned from college and accused by the school of sexual assault after he mistakenly hugged and kissed a woman he didn’t know.
Brian Ferguson, 20, who attended special needs classes at Navarro College, was walking down a school hallway when he thought he spotted a woman he knew. The young man approached the woman and proceeded to hug and kiss her on the head.
“He gave her a hug and kissed her on the top of her head,” Ferguson’s mother, Staci Martin, said. “He's 6'5", so when he gives hugs, he'll give you a big hug and kiss you right here on the top of your scalp."
The school called the incident an assault, and subsequently suspended Ferguson. “They labeled it 'sexual assault' because of the kissing,” Martin said. “They said a kiss is considered an assault.” The school said that Ferguson’s suspension would be indefinite, and that he was “no longer welcome back.”
“He cried the whole next day,” Martin said. “He got up for school, waited for the bus. I told him it wasn't coming. He just wants to be a normal college student and function in society.”
Ferguson apologized for offending the girl, and told NBC-DFW that he badly wants to return to school. “I'm bored staying at home.”
Candice Ahlfinger, spokeswoman for the Waxahachie Independent School District, declined to comment because of student privacy laws.