Look at that face in the photo. This image shows a five-year-old boy who was diagnosed with autism as a young child. His name is Nathan, and he lives a joyful life in Tennessee. Nathan loves to shower others in affection but recently came under criticism by his elementary school. Because Nathan is different than other children in his class, he expresses himself differently – but his legal guardians were stunned when their son’s elementary school labeled the five-year-old autistic boy a “sexual predator.”
Although the school has since denied call the child a “sexual predator,” which basically means they’re calling Nathan’s family a pack of liars, his legal guardian Summery Putnam has come forward to expose the hypocrites. After receiving a letter from Nathan’s teacher three weeks ago, she has watched as things have gotten worse and worse with her son at the East Ridge Elementary school.
The teacher accused Nathan of overstepping boundaries with other children. This can be common behavior with a child with autism since social boundaries can be more difficult for children like Nathan to grasp. However, Summery was shocked that the teacher would basically accuse her five-year-old son of being a sexual predator toward the other students.
“The teacher called me, and she said you need to have a talk with Nathan about boundaries,” Summer told ABC 7. “I was sick to my stomach because first of all, don’t you understand he’s a five-year-old? He’s a child?”
While Summery talks about being sick to her stomach, the school fought back with claims that Nathan’s family is withholding the facts.
The Hamilton County Department of Education made it clear that Nathan’s family is “not sharing the full context of the concerns” because the “issue was not a hug or kiss that prompted contact with the family.”
The school’s spokesman Tim Hensley told Daily Mail, “The family of the child is not sharing the full context of the concerns expressed to them by the school. The issue was not a hug or kiss that prompted contact with the family. Also, there was no punishment given to the child by the school. The school is simply interested in the wellbeing of a very young child as he grows and learns with his classmates at East Ridge Elementary.”
Hensley added, “The school district is bound by laws that do not allow discussion of what happened in the classroom situation, but we would welcome the family approving the release for the district to provide the documentation of the issues discussed with them. Schools have no means that label a child ‘a sexual predator.’ Staff members of a school are required by law to report issues of concern to the Department of Children Services.”
Summery believes that because Nathan has autism, he is often misunderstood.
“If you don’t understand how autism works you’ll think he’s acting out or being defiant. But that’s not the situation,” she told ABC. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing wrong.”
Nathan’s grandmother Debi Amick wrote a post on Facebook claiming the school “labeled (him) a sexual predator and accused of sexual harassment.”
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