Video shows teacher take mic from autistic boy - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Video shows teacher take mic from autistic boy

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Video shows teacher take mic from autistic boy. (CNN) Video shows teacher take mic from autistic boy. (CNN)
(CNN) -

A viral video out of Harrison County, West Virginia shows a teacher from Nutter Fort Primary School snatching away a microphone from an autistic first grader.

The video has garnered national attention and now, the father of six-year-old is speaking out.  

"He never, ever goes without laughing or saying 'I love you mommy and daddy,’” Caleb's father Kent Squires said.  

Squires was heartbroken to see his son, who has high functioning autism, in tears, moments after the teacher in question takes the microphone off the stage.

"For them to do what they did is very appalling to me,” Squires said.  

Squires said that in the video, taken by the boy's mother, their son was about to deliver his favorite lines "gobble, gobble.”

"But there's no way to defend it OK? We saw it, I saw it, the 17 second snippet...there's no way to defend it,” Dr. Mark Manchin, who is the superintendent for Harrison County Schools said.

Manchin insists there was no malice intent and that the teacher feels horrible about the incident. But, Manchin said the school never received a permission slip from the boy's parents and that the play had already ended. Squires disputes that.

"And it's a play, they're first and second graders, and I do not see the harm in letting that child say what he felt was very important,” Robyn Viglianco, who is an employee at the Arc of Harrison County, said.

Viglianco works with people with developmental disabilities. She left a comment on the video and pledged her support.

"The child's parents were there, if she acted that way in front of them, what is she doing behind closed doors,” Viglianco said.

Squires said this isn't the first time he's had a falling out with the school. He recalled faculty coming to him with complaints about his son every day after kindergarten.

"And she's like 'well, I just need to tell you your kid, Caleb, was acting out today, right in the middle of all the parents,” Squires said.  

He's since resolved that with Manchin said, but the school is now under fresh scrutiny, with the video drawing national attention and resonating with thousands.

"Me being disabled, I thank God it never happened to me but I said 'I can only imagine if it did, what kind of heartbreak I would be going through and stuff like that,” Shinnston resident Zeke Lane said.

As for the teacher in question, Manchin said she will not be disciplined.

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