11-Year-Old Boy With Autism Cuffed by Police After Wandering a Mile Away From School, Father Plans to Sue District: 'Our Children Deserve Better'

A California father says he is planning legal action after his severely autistic son was found and handcuffed by police almost a mile away from his middle school.

Trevor Hibbert is criticizing officials from Endeavor Middle School after his 11-year-old child was able to leave the secure campus in Lancaster on Monday while suffering an emotional episode. He released footage of the boy in the back of a police patrol car in clear distress.

The furious father had strong words for the Lancaster School District during a board meeting that took place yesterday evening, saying: "I'm calling you out. Our children deserve better."

In a Facebook update this week, which included multiple images of the child after he was found by sheriff's deputies, Hibbert said it was the third time in three weeks his son Abraham had been able to leave the school without being stopped by teachers or staff members.

He noted it was a "gross failure" of the boy's Individual Education Plan (IEP). "Thank God our sheriff's department was there to clean up your mess, but the damage is done," he wrote.

It’s is what happens to an 11 year old, severely autistic child when he has a meltdown and is able to walk off the...

Posted by Trevor Hibbert on Monday, September 16, 2019

According to ABC7, the boy's IEP states that he requires one-on-one help, but Hibbert claimed school administrators often replace that person with a non-trained faculty member.

CBS Los Anglees reported an earlier incident ended after officials called for an involuntary psychiatric hold on the child and he was taken to hospital while restrained on a gurney.

Hibbert wrote on Facebook: "The damage you have done to my son and the years of progress that has been setback are irreparable. A lawsuit isn't enough. You and your staff did this."

During the board meeting yesterday, Lancaster School District Superintendent, Michelle Bowers, angered the father even further after describing the most recent incident as being "regrettable."

"We're doing everything we need to do to support the family and to support this child in being successful in his new environment," Bowers told local media outlets. "This is his first year in middle school and while we're completely committed to his safety and his education, we're also very mindful of the safety of our staff, we're trying to balance all of that out."

Hitting back, Hibbert told FOX11: "Regrettable? A 125-pound, 5-foot 11-year-old special needs child that ends up in handcuffs because of your gross incompetence is not regrettable, that's abhorrent." The father, who stressed he did not blame the sheriff's department, noted he is planning to sue for gross negligence and that any proceeds would be given to a charity.

In a statement, the school district said: "While we cannot comment on all of the details of this child's services, we all agree that the incident that occurred yesterday is highly regrettable for everyone involved and we will continue to work with the family to support this child."

Hibbert said he plans to run as a candidate for the Lancaster School District Board in the next available election, pledging on social media that, if successful, he would "clean house."

11-Year-Old Boy With Autism Cuffed by Police After Wandering a Mile Away From School, Father Plans to Sue District: 'Our Children Deserve Better' | News