Nathan is a five-year-old boy with autism that was reported by his school for “inappropriate activities” after hugging a classmate. according to his family.
Staff at East Ridge Elementary school in Tennessee say that they told the boy’s guardian that Nathan had been “overstepping boundaries” and that teachers had talked with him “several times”.
His family, though, says that it has all been a big misunderstanding and claims that the school has since filed a report with the state over the incident, even though the school is yet to confirm this.
The boy’s guardian, Summery Putnam, told WJLA that she was called by Nathan’s teacher and was told that they need to have a talk with Nathan about boundaries.
Putnam explained that Nathan has autism and struggles to understand social cues. However, the teacher told her that Nathan had been “overstepping boundaries” and was accused of “inappropriate activities” after he hugged a classmate and kissed another kid on the cheek.
Tim Hensley, a spokesperson from the Hamilton County Department of Education said in a statement that school personnel are required to raise concerns regarding children to the DCS, and it’s up to DCS to determine if those reports are acted on and what those actions may take.
Nathan’s family, however, strongly believes that the school has made the wrong call in this situation, and Putnam added that little Nathan doesn’t know what he’s done wrong.
The boy has since been moved to a different classroom with new teachers, and he’s enrolled in “special education services”.