A Mt. Olive, Illinois, mother says she is considering homeschool after her special needs child came home from school one day with unexplained bruises.
The mother, identified only as Jodie, told Fox 2 Now that her 6-year-old son Thomas was diagnosed with ADHD, a form of autism, and several other physical health issues. On Sept. 22, the first-grader reportedly came home from Mount Olive Elementary with bruises on his stomach and arms.
“My son had come home with some marks on his arms, underneath his arms, and a large bruise on the side of his stomach,” Jodi told Fox 2 Now. “I knew that he had had a rough day at school.”
Jodi said the case is currently being investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
She added that she won’t feel safe sending her son back to school until the person who hurt him is removed. The person responsible is suspected to be a staff member who improperly restrained Thomas.
“My son tells me daily that ‘I love school; I want to go to school, mommy, but please don’t let the lady hurt me no more,’” Jodi said. “The DCFS is saying, ‘No, your son needs the school,’ but the school is causing the big part of the problem with my son.
“So I almost feel like I’m either going to be forced to have him in there or not have my child.”
Special needs child advocate Susy Woods told the news station that recent cuts to school budgets across Illinois are causing problems in the district.
“With autism, especially, kids have meltdowns and it has to be somebody who is not just an aide but very well-trained in what to do when a child has a meltdown,” Woods said.
The special needs school cooperative reportedly offered to give Jodi's son a one-on-one aide, but they could not guarantee that Thomas would have no physical contact with the aide or aides who he claims hurt him.