Mother Of Autistic Roland High Student Says Teacher Forced Son To Do Push Ups

ROLAND (KFSM) -- The mother of an autistic student at Roland High School wants the school administration to take action after she said a teacher made her son do push ups and yelled at him in front of his classmates.

"This was degrading for a child who struggles socially," Joanna Hawley, whose son Dallas is 17, said Wednesday (Nov. 30). "There were students who were witnessing this. A student that got tired of seeing this who witnessed [Dallas] on the floor doing push-ups and also witnessed [the teacher] yelling at him several times, got tired of seeing it and went to the high school principal."

Hawley said she was shocked to find out what happening because she said had never been contacted for disciplinary issues.

"All of his other teachers said that he was a joy to have in class and they had no behavior issues with him at all," she said. "I sat down with each one of his teachers and told them to please not hesitate to call me if you ever have any behavior issues. I do have expectations for Dallas and listening and following directions is one of those expectations."

Roland High School Principal Kelie Harrell declined an interview with 5NEWS, but did confirm push-ups were involved in the incident and said the matter has been dealt with.

Hawley said she was informed by administration the teacher was spoken to, but would keep her job at the high school.

"I feel like a teacher who decides to do something like that to a student, that's very degrading and humiliating, that should be an automatic termination" she said. "Anyone who knows my son looks out for him and loves him a lot. He is a sweet child and didn't deserve this."

As an educator herself, Hawley wants to make sure this doesn't happen to another child.

"Make yourself known at the school, get involved," she said. "Know who your child's teachers are, talk to them on a regular basis and talk to your child on a regular basis."

The silver lining, Hawley said, is that Dallas is still smiling.

"He's doing good," Hawley said. "He's doing very good. They've got a new schedule for him. He has bounced right back and he's doing great."

Hawley said she is not satisfied with the action the school took following the incident. She said she will be addressing this issue with the Roland School Board at a meeting Dec. 12.  If she doesn't receive a proper response from the board, Hawley said she will then go to the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

Harrell said the school is aware of the incidents and does have policies in place on how to handle these types of situations.

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