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

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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.


    • Vince McGuyer

      I have an autistic Nephew, and I agree with you, Benny. This kid wasn’t phased by it, by his Mother’s own admission, and it’s not as though it was a beating or something like that. Why don’t we pay more attention to the pervert teachers, the ones selling hardcore drugs, etc. rather than having hissy fit over every little friggin thing? Oh, right, because today you’re not supposed to hurt anyones feelings, EVER, or you’re the devils spawn.

      • tasdgs

        It’s not about hurting peoples feelings. It’s about abuse and one’s intellectual ability to know that they are being abused. Also, how severely was this autistic child? Furthermore, could you show proof of “pervert teachers, the ones selling hardcore drugs”? You make it sound like this is rampant. I know several teachers and they are good, upstanding people.

  • Trisha Hawley

    I actually know Dallas personally and he is not a typical Autistic child. He is very loving, always giving hugs and telling you that you are awesome and that he loves you more. I also know at least one other child at this school that has been bullied for MANY years by other students and Roland has done very little about it. I am glad this story is getting out and hope and pray that it changes the School District for the better. I hope it encourages other parents to go to the School Board Meeting on December 12 and speak out if their child has been subject to bullying by students or teachers to show that this is not a one time incident.

  • Randy Ingle

    Did the teacher just have a bad day or is this something else? No Autistic child should ever be bullied or treated in this way. They are wonderful special children!

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