Classmates Show Support For Autistic Student Forced To Do Push Ups

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ROLAND (KFSM) -- After a Roland High School student with autism was yelled at by his teacher and forced to do push ups last month, his friends, who witnessed and reported the incident, are telling their story.

"I went out in the hallway one day to get a drink and I heard her yelling at someone," classmate Bradley Whittaker said. "I heard [the teacher] yelling at someone and I walked down there to see who she was yelling at because I heard his voice and she was yelling at [Dallas]."

Dallas is 17-years-old and has autism.

"I saw that after he did the push ups, he did so many, like 50," classmate Madison Miller said. "He kept asking after he did the push ups. He would ask again, because he didn't know any better and she would make him do more push ups."

Dallas said he got in trouble for talking.

"I was talking too much and I was asking her age," Dallas said. "I was just saying 'hi' and stuff like that."

Classmates said the abuse happened more than once.

"There are lots of things that he would do and she would care about," Miller said. "Whenever he needed help with his work, she never helped him. She basically made him feel that way because he didn't know how to do things and she wouldn't help him like a teacher should."

Dallas' mom said she is thankful for all the support from her son's classmates and community.

"It feels great," Joanna Hawley said. "It has meant the world to us."

Some students said they want the school's administration to take action.

"I really hope that they do something about the teacher who was doing it and she gets some type of punishment, especially since it's been going on for the years that she's been here," Miller said. "She's always done kids like that and nothing has been done about it."

Hawley said she will be addressing the issue at the school board meeting Monday (Dec. 12). Many community members have said they will also be attending this meeting.

The Roland High School principal said the school has taken appropriate action in this matter.