A Washington State mother is up in arms after seeing video that appears to show her autistic son's principal locking the 11-year-old out an elementary school.
According to Q13 News, the incident took place on December 14, 2018, when Ashli Short, the principal of Springbrook Elementary in Kent, Wash., allegedly locked JaVonn Perry's son out of the school, forcing him to wander around the building alone and in the cold until he was eventually permitted to enter the building. If that wasn't bad enough, Perry wasn't notified by school administration, instead being told of the incident by her son himself.
“That was a horrible thing to do. Anything could’ve happened to him. He was alone. No one was outside with him. I think that it’s unacceptable,” Perry told the news station.
If that wasn't bad enough, Perry wasn't notified by school administration, instead her son broke the news to her. When her son came home from school and filled her in, Perry contacted the school and talked to Short, who confessed that she had locked her son out of school.
“She admitted that she did when I asked her. She said that yes, she locked him out. That she felt she was in danger, so she wanted to make sure everyone was safe so she locked him out,” Perry said.
With confirmation of the incident, Perry requested that the school provide her with a copy of the security footage so that she could see it for herself. And once Perry got ahold of the tape, she was mortified by what she saw. She could see her son walking around the outside of the school in the cold going from door to door, trying to find a way back in. But with every attempt, the boy remained locked out.
On top of that, Perry said the principal also instructed other staff-members to help her keep the boy out of the school. And the video clearly shows this as you can see a school employee walk past the boy and then again when a teacher is shown closing her blinds before the boy can get to the window.
Perry and the boy's grandmother, Lovine Montgomery, were so frustrated by all of this that they contacted the Kent School Board, who placed Short on administrative leave while they further investigated the situation.
During a school board meeting, Montgomery spoke out against the incident.
“The decision this principal made to intentionally lock my grandson outside of the school building clearly was child endangerment, pure negligence and it put him in imminent danger,” said Lovine Montgomery, Jamar's grandmother. “Just watching him go through that as an 11-year-old child, it breaks my heart because nobody, there’s nothing that warrants that type of behavior from an administrator, somebody that you trust."
In response to all of this, the Kent School Board released the following statement:
“Our number one priority during this time continues to be the excellent education and the safety of our students.”
But Perry isn't taking any chances with this as she pulled her son from Springbrook Elementary in hopes of finding a school that better meets the needs of her son.
The full video can be seen here.