Indiana Father Says His 9-Year-Old Autistic Son Was Arrested For Fighting Back Against Bullies

The father of an autistic 9-year-old from Indiana claims his son was arrested at his elementary school and taken away in handcuffs after fighting back against bullies. Ronnie Shepperd, the father, recorded a video of the Franklin, Indiana, police officers coming in to arrest his son at Needham Elementary school.

Ronnie told WRTV, the Indianapolis ABC affiliate, that his son still watches the video of his arrest from time to time, and finds the whole ordeal to be extremely traumatizing. Ronnie also noted that any 9-year-old – autistic or otherwise – would have been terrified in his son's position.

The father also told WRTV that another student at the school had bullied his son on several different occasions. The principal and several of the staff members at the school were made aware of the situation. Unfortunately, no one at the school made an attempt to stop the bullying and it continued to get worse.

"They didn't take no steps to make it safe."
A third student who saw what happened that day tells a slightly different story. According to the student, the autistic 9-year-old and another student were arguing over a butterfly. The third student says the student got behind the 9-year-old and pushed him down before choking him. The student claims a teacher tried to break up the fight only for the 9-year-old to jump on her back and start choking her. A second teacher intervened to break up the incident.

According to Franklin Police Chief Tim O'Sullivan, Ronnie Shepperd's son was arrested for battering another student as well as two teachers on August 30. A report by the Daily Journal claims the school went under lock down following the fight.

After roughly 20 minutes at Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center, the autistic boy was released to his father.

According to Franklin Schools Superintendent Dr. David Clendining, the principal's decision to involve the police was the right call, given the incident. The superintendent refused to comment on whether or not the 9-year-old actually hurt anyone, or whether or not he was still a student at the school.

Arrested for fight at recess
[Image by Angela Waye/Shutterstock]

Currently, the autistic 9-year-old is attending a different school called Earlywood Education Center. The father claims his son is not having any more problems and is doing "awesome." While he would love for his son to return to Needham Elementary, he fears the bullying would result in another incident.

Do you think this incident could have been avoided? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.

[Featured Image by Shutterstock/muhmetcan]