Principal filmed assaulting an autistic 11-year-old boy

I know, I agree, no one sensible would. It’s just that people frame a kid with autism’s behavior as deliberate misbehavior, when it’s often not something that the kid understands as misbehavior, or behavior they’re at all able to control.

I say this as someone who spent a couple decades fielding “Why is your daughter saying/doing that?” sorts of questions.


I think the point is that the autism isn’t what makes this a fireable offense (even criminal, imo). This wasn’t even a typical autism meltdown episode. This looks like a kid mouthing off and the adult literally launching him across the room.

The fact that they other two show no sign of shock or disgust at this behavior means THEY should be fired, too, imo.

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My thought here is it doesn’t matter in the least if it was NT misbehavior or autism based behavior. There is literally NOTHING in that video that means that man shouldn’t be criminally prosecuted for assault.

That principal’s behavior wouldn’t be ok if he pushed ME like that, much less a kid a third his weight. That was assault, plain and simple. And depending on how that kid landed off screen, he could have been SEVERELY injured!

This incident is obviously enough in itself; but I have to wonder just how…steady…the managerial habits of someone with this sort of disproportionate response to an irritation that imposed on their authority have been over time.

Dealing with an autistic child is a particularly intense stimulus; but it’s not like management is without its frustrations or its situations where there’s a temptation to just steamroll a subordinate rather than have to deal with the tedious work of actually bringing people round on some issue.

His behavior is wrong and evil, and would still be that no matter who he attacked.

But, people with autism are more likely to be assaulted. For reasons similar to the importance of reporting hate crimes as hate crimes, it’d be good if he was famous as not just a child abuser, but as someone who abused a child with a disability.


I’m guessing the referral was “The candidate worked at the school from $START_DATE to $END_DATE.” as per instructions from the previous school’s legal department. If they said more and he was not hired, that could have opened them up to a lawsuit (if all they included were facts that lawsuit likely would be dismissed quickly, but it still costs money to defend against.)

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The autism is relevant because that’s why he probably thought he’d get away with it.

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The autism is relevant because it fits a pattern of triggering autistic reflexes and goading an autistic (or otherwise neurodivergent) child into a fight-or-flight response, then punishing them for it while letting the person who did the provoking go free.

This is hitting someone’s knee with a mallet, and punishing them for kicking. It’s shining a light in their eyes and punishing them for blinking.

Just yesterday I was told of a child who had had their hand held down and their fingers bent back until they were in pain, and they were pleading to be let go… until they struggled and freed themself, and struck out as part of that. The child who did the holding down got a detention. The child who was defending themself got suspended for a day, after more than a week on tenterhooks (which was a punishment, for someone with anxiety and a tendency to catastrophic thoughts, worse than the suspension itself, not even counting that they will now spend the rest of their life in school terrified about the consequences of having this on their record). Because they were on suspension, they missed the ceremony where they were made a school year-level captain for being an exemplary student and an example to others for thoughtfulness and kindness.

The lesson is that autistic and neurodivergent kids can be, and are, assaulted for their disability, and will be punished for defending themselves, where their assailants won’t be punished as much or at all.

That this guy is facing consequences is the exception, and, as PurpleFlower said, he clearly expected to face no repercussions at all.


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