Autistic boy grabbed by neck at school while 2 teacher's aides look on
South Broward High School administration addresses staff members involved
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – When an autistic freshman at South Broward High School in Hollywood was recently grabbed by the neck at the hands of a known school bully, a pair of teacher's aides stood feet away, seemingly oblivious to it all.
Now, Matthew Delgado's mother is angry that no one helped her 15-year-old son.
"They're not doing anything about what is going on," Monica Delgado, the teen's mother, told Local 10 News. "Seeing these two assistants not doing anything about what’s going on, I just call that negligence."
Delgado said she launched a series of complaints to the principal of the school and was promised that Matthew and the aggressor, who are both special-needs students, would be separated and would never cross paths.
But the video is proof that never happened, she said.
"The same child we see on the video, punching my son in the stomach and his arms," Delgado said.
Attorney Brian Roller is consulting with the family.
"I think things should have been done differently," Roller said.
He has worked in the past with the Anti-Defamation League on anti-bullying programs.
"The plan of keeping these kids separate was not followed," Roller said. "These are kids of special needs. They require specific attention."
Broward County Public Schools released a statement about the incident.
"Broward County Public Schools takes all matters concerning student safety seriously," the statement said. "The district does not tolerate behavior involving bullying and harassment, and takes all reports like this very seriously. Upon becoming aware of the situation and viewing the video, school administration has been diligent in working directly with the students and parents involved to identify and address concerns. In addition, school administration is taking appropriate actions with staff members involved in this situation. The district has an anti-bullying policy and bullying prevention and intervention curriculum and supports. Students are encouraged to report bullying immediately."
Meanwhile, Delgado remained focused on her son.
"I want him to be in the class where he's safe," Delgado said.
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