A typical day at school quickly turned into a complete nightmare for one autistic boy. According to The Free Thought Project, 10-year-old Ryan Maldonado was arrested at the Cypress Elementary in Kissimmee, FL. The boy reportedly became frustrated and refused to follow class orders. His alleged tantrum escalated to a dangerous level when he picked up a pair of scissors and threatened to hurt himself. He was taken out of the classroom by school administrators.
Instead of contacting the child’s parents first, the school opted to contact the Kissimmee Police Department to rectify the issue. The boy’s father, Moses Maldonado, was called shortly after and ended up arriving at the school before police did. However, he wasn’t allowed to speak with his son.
When the police arrived, the boy’s father was forced to watch his son be handcuffed by local officers. He was then placed on the back of a police cruiser. School officials and local police agreed that the boy should be Baker acted.
The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, also referred to as the Baker Act, “allows the involuntary institutionalization and examination of an individual.” When the boy allegedly threatened to harm himself, the Act apparently became permissible.
However, his mother, Elaine Maldonado, feels otherwise.
Needless to say, she is furious with the way school officials handled the situation. She feels the school could have taken less drastic measures to rectify the issue. She also posed the question: “If he (the principal) was so concerned that he would harm himself why would he wait 10 minutes for the cops to arrive?” She also asked why her husband was not allowed to speak with their son if he could have possibly resolved the issue without involving local authorities.
Here’s what she had to say about the decision to Baker Act her son:
“He had difficulty being redirected which resulted in a really bad meltdown. My son made threats to harm himself with scissors which were accessible to him from the teacher’s desk. The principal did not call us, but did call law enforcement to have him Baker acted.
The teacher did call my husband and he arrived at the school within minutes and 10 minutes before law enforcement. Upon his arrival he was told that he could not see Ryan because he would be interfering with an investigation and would risk being arrested.
When three law enforcement officers arrived to the classroom, Ryan was still very upset. They proceeded to drag him down the hall, passed by my husband who was very upset and placed him on the trunk of the police car on one of the hottest days of the week (100 degrees if not higher – police officer states this in his report ) and handcuffed him in front of the school and held him down on the hot car for several minutes before communicating to my husband that they planned to baker act him.”
Although the boy is back in the custody of his parents, he’s still terrified about returning to school. His mother revealed that he continues to recount the horrific series of events that took place last week.
Do you agree with the decision to have the boy Baker acted? Share your thoughts.
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