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WHEC-TV

April 15, 2010

One week after a Victor boy with autism was put in jail for a violent outburst at school, the Victor school district is promising parents: changes are coming!

In a letter sent to parents on Wednesday, the Victor schools superintendent says she has launched a full investigation into what happened.

Last Wednesday, 19-year-old Jarred Crawford, who is autistic, had what his mother calls a “meltdown” at school. He became violent with the School Resource Officer, the situation escalated, and Jarred spent a night in jail.

Jamie Britt, Jarred’s mother, says the superintendent’s promises are a step forward.

Another Victor mother spoke with News 10 NBC about how important it is for children with autism to get the proper services.

“That letter really comes as quite a nice surprise and that does offer some hope,” Annette Adams said. “This is the kind of response and action from the district that we would expect from a quality district such as Victor.”

Adams has two children with autism– her daughter Tristan and son Leon-Ryan. Her son graduated from Victor schools years ago, but Jarred’s situation at Victor High School touched her heart.

“It hits home,” she said. “It hits home with my two children.”

Jarred was sent to Ontario County Jail after the Victor High School Resource Officer said he punched and kicked him and his mother said she couldn’t post bail.

His mother said there were four fire alarms at school that day and that Jarred, who is autistic, had a meltdown because of them.

On Wednesday, Victor Central Schools Superintendent Dawn Santiago-Marullo sent out a letter of response.

“I have launched a full investigation of our disciplinary process,” she wrote, “to ensure that a situation such as the one we just experienced never happens again.”

Further on in the letter, she writes, “I have also established a special disciplinary committee that will review and revise our disciplinary practices– across all five VCS buildings– including the role of our school resource officer.”

Adams says educating faculty and staff is essential.

“They also need to train individuals that are working within the building how to spot things so they don’t escalate,” she said. “Education is power.”

The superintendent also writes in the letter that the district will seek guidance from experts in the field of education, special education and autism.

She says she hopes to put the results of their review and investigation into a full report for the community by the end of the school year.

As for Jarred, his mother says he is trying to adjust back at school.

She says before this all happened they were planning to move to a new house in the Palmyra-Macedon school district, so she says they are looking forward to starting school there next month.

Clickhereto see the full letter from the Victor Central School Superintendent.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36536409/ns/local_news-rochester_ny/



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