Police Arrest and Handcuff 8 year old Autistic Girl

Posted on: January 16th, 2009 114 Comments
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An autistic 8-year old girl, Evelyn Towry, was arrested in Kootenai Elementary School because of accusations that she was assaulting school’s staff. What happened was that she had been refused entry into a school Christmas party because she refused to take off her beloved cow costume that was a hoodie with cow ears and a tail. Evelyn was put in a separate classroom away from the party, but when she tried to leave, the teachers told her to stay put. When Evelyn protested, the adults physically restrained her. She was very scared so she reacted in a violent way to the physical restraint. Evelyn got bruises on her legs, and is tormented by memories of the incident. The staff immediately called the police who put handcuffs on Evelyn and took her to the station.

First after a couple of hours her mother was allowed to take her home. The Towry family is considering legal action against the school. At a hearing on the case the prosecutor said that he didn’t think at this time it would be beneficial to pursue it because of Evelyn’s age and her condition.

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114 Responses

  1. Patty Poo says:

    I think the family should take action. People today don’t take the time to see what is really going on. The school should have known that Evelyn was autistic and they should have been prepared for this with some sort of training. If not then they shouldn’t have let her into that school.So in saying that i blame the school. Somewhere in S.C.

    • clare sivyour says:

      I have learning difficulties and when I went to a party I when I was younger I allways wore a costume even if it was just my mums hat it was still a party outfit to me those caps are words I cannot say on here but if you aresst a little girl who has been barred from a school party and restrained for wearing a costume her bestist one and then has the trauma of being arrested and taken from paerents and has to deal with flash backs trauma nightmares and now probably sees the costume as something bad that school should be shut down and the police tha arrested her should get done for assult false imprisionment to the little girl never stop being happy never stop reaching for your goal never stop to look behind you hold the hands of those on the same journey be strong and the best of all the good luck in the world goes to u

    • annonymous says:

      f u school and police you have no right to force an 8 year old into a world of fear flashbacks nightmares dread sadness and depression f u you all abusers all those involved in what was done to evelyn you don’t deserve to have such rewarding jobs you deserve to go clean the sewers to evelyn please sue these animals for all they have be strong and know that the world will stand with you good luck they must never be in a position to b able to do this too any more children they are parisites

  2. Sdr says:

    IGNORANCE———are these people f*eakin idiots???

  3. Aaah says:

    Over a hoodie…..hmmmm.Is this reality? All because she would not take it off? Get real! Sue Sue Sue!!!! Don’t back off PARENTS! Sue the hell out of the school district. Why wasn’t the parentrs called before the police? I am not going to go on. This is ABSURD!

  4. Heller says:

    I believe that the school should fire everyone on staff as I am sure they knew her situation and possible reaction, if they were unaware they should be arrested and fired, the police officers should be reprimanded and placed on probation, the family should take legal action against everyone involved.

  5. Train says:

    Sad that the school is so badly trained that the first solution they think of is the police. They didn’t have the parents’ contact info? They had no acess to a social worker versed in kids with special needs? School should provide the cost of
    the girl’s psychology, so the dreams stop.

  6. corky says:

    Assuming that she had been allowed to wear this outfit to school before why were her parents not called if there were a problem. Sue the school district and the city/county who took her into custody. Also check and see if the school doesn’t have to provide alternative education.

  7. Utah fan says:

    you really have to wonder about the iq of some of our so called public workers

  8. SENSE? says:

    This is how our world is ! Isn’t it SAD ? No Common Sence !!

  9. Carlie says:

    OMG that was totally uncalled for! For GOD sakes she is 8 and autistic! And all over a
    cow hoodie! The Police and the School should be charged and sued by the parents. Does the Police have nothing else better to do in there city but to arrest and handcuff an 8 year old autistic girl over a hoodie? OMG! I have a daughter who is autistic and you best believe me someone did that to my child you better believe me I would be sueing all involved and then…and then…I can’t even type what I would do!!! No ONE, especially a child should go thru that! Shame on the school and the Police Dept! You all should be ashamed! My God there are criminals and drug dealers out there and who knows they might in that school for all we know, but no, you all have to attack an 8 yr old all over a frickin hoodie that she’s worn so many times before? SUE the crap out of them! I’m so glad that this is public! I would cause a huge stink! Heck, go try to be on a talk show too! So the world can see WHY this world is the way it is! Believe me if Jenny McCarthy can cause a stir on autism, then anyone who has a child with autism can too! Go to the Autism online committee people. Call who you can! Get on TV somehow to exploit these idiots! I’m so fricking tired of stupid grown adults abusing children! That poor girl now. Just think if it was THERE child handled like that! They would go off the wall! And these teachers are suppose to be certified and trained to be with autistic kids and this is how they treat them! Call Job and Family Services for ABUSE! Believe me I’m sure when this hits the court for them being sued, the family with the girl WILL WIN! How dare they did this to that helpless little girl!

  10. Brad. says:

    this is due to teachers and staff NOT BEING TRAINED in special needs areas which IS A GROWING part of every day communities. THE POLICE STATION SHOULD HAVE ARRESTED THE TEACHERS WHO ASSAULTED THE GIRL!!!!! SO YES THE POLICE should be fired as well. Both the school, THE PEOPLE WHO ASSAULTED HER and the police dept should all be sued. THE PROSECUTOR IS THE FREAKIN MORON AS WELL HERE who the heck is he trying to cover up for the stupidity of the school and teacher assault on a disabled child or the police abuse of a disabled child or the school for not providing trained staff and allowing abuse? Not to mention the fact as A DISABLED CHILD she was discriminated against by the school and not allowed to attend a CHristmas party. THAT IS PLENTY OF REASON"S TO SUE> I HOPE THE PARENTS FIND A GOOD ATTORNEY, or contact the Disability website and civil rights commision all of which can be found in government web pages.

  11. Brett says:

    I agree..fire them all and sue them for everything they have!!!
    They have no excuse for treating a child with autism the way she was treated…actually NO child should be treated that way, but with an autistic child, who doesn’t know how to react properly to fear, it is even worse. Bastards!

  12. Anonymous says:

    She said it all in the comment above!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    You would think that we, as a whole, would learn to pick our battles. We are all guilty of this type of thing in one way or another. This society needs to grow up before we insist our children do.

  14. Tiffany says:

    If this is not the most pitiful story i have ever heard. What is wrong with the cops and the school. My gosh the family should make these people an example. no wonder we as the regular citizens do not trust anyone

  15. Mother says:

    As a mother of a child with autism I am outraged by the school and police. What is wrong with her school don’t they understand anything about autism or even just a regular child who wants to wear her jacket,the jacket looks more like a sweater anyway Parents sue the hell out of the school and police. If that happened to my son I would be devastated and soo angry. Good luck to you A mother who really understands

  16. Anonymous says:

    We have enough problems in this world without handcuffing the police with nonsense like this.
    When you are a victim of a violent crime, you will be happy to have a policeman. There is no excuse for police brutality, but there is also no excuse for mans inhumanity to man.

  17. Mary Ann. says:

    Being a mother of a child with a mental disablity is challenging enough but having to educate a school and staff with a great deal of direction is like fighting city hall.
    This is not suprising to me have read this real life story.
    This and other issues are happening on a constant basis.
    Due to funding and or investigating which schools would make a great match for the child in an educational environment.
    At time, as a parent of a mentally challenging child there is not enough training to assist the child and or have the understanding not too mention the know how on what to do.
    Possibly this is an eye opener to the nation that having a mental disablitiy is not a CRIME!!!

  18. MissM says:

    It is a CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION, if they know she's autistic and there's an IEP in place. http://books.google.com/books?id=MQD1BrCIIrwC&output=html

  19. Freddy says:

    Police have way to much authority!
    I say take legal action and sue! if this was my daughter all heck would break lose, yes shit would hit the fan without a doubt!
    poor little girl oh my word!

  20. Samson says:

    We have a grandson who has autisma nd we have always worried what would happen if he had a meltdown and no one knew what to do. Teachers are supposed to be trained about children with disabilities, but I think these teachers missed those classes. Personally, I hope the family sues the school, schoolboard, teachers and the police.

  21. Scott says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that there are people like the staff at this school who are teaching and have absolutely no business whatsoever doing so. Obviously these people need a special needs teacher on premises or something. My lord, this is ridiculous! I have to say, if I were a parent I would take some kind of action. The police involved in this made fools out of themselves as well.

  22. Sean R. says:

    hang them high the school and police

  23. Braydon says:

    I believe this is one of the most horrific police stories I have heard in a while. That poor child must have been scared out of her mind. the prosecutor feels no charges will be filed at this time due to her age. well how long will he wait. What he thinks he will do it when she is older, come on..Where in the heck is this place. They need to go out and fight the real crime, and leave children with autism alone. These teachers and police need to be sued by this family..I hope they find a good lawyer..

  24. Koby says:

    Both the police and teachers involved should have criminal charges against them. This is not the first time I have seen a situation like this and it makes me furious. People who are not trained and retrained do not need to work with childred with handicapping conditions. The teacher’s and police’s ignorance will mean more taxpayers money tying up the courts, it should come out of their pockets. You would think they had better things to do than terrorize little autistic children.

  25. Lance says:

    First of all, fire the kid’s teacher immediately.
    Secondly, find out how long was the kid out of the hands of its teacher and aide because these are the people responsible for the child care for that day, and find out who call 911. Was a cell phone used or was the 911 call made from the school main office.If the call was place from the main office what reason was given?, and they should be immediately fired as well.If it was a cell call to 911 they should be fired too.
    Lastly, The parent should press abusive charges and hire an attorney.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is an opportunity for the exact township, city, & State to be identified on the internet in order that EVERYONE knows who these cowards are, and then, let's see who the next child (especially a special needs child) who will be assaulted by these so-called intellectuals! Common sense should clue people in on some things! I would sue the as* off of every individual who had a part in this fiasco!

    Signed: A seventy-five year-old mother & grandmother

  27. Gavin B. says:

    Police handcuffing an 8 year old girl,,,the officers should be FIRED at the VERY least. And charges should be brought against the school teachers.

  28. Brennen says:

    If a child with autism attends a public school, there would be a special needs teacher in the room with her at all times, and should have been properly trained in the use of proper restraints. As someone who has worked with the disabled for several years I know that sometimes, no matter their size their will be bruising, even when properly restrained. But bottom line the parents should have been contacted at the first sign of an outburst, and if law enforcement were needed the parents should have been there with her. Not got a call after she was already at the police station. I would sue and make it publicly known what had happened!!

  29. Kori says:

    That school is obviously not educated and/or equipped to deal with a special needs child. What is the police departments excuse?

    Pitiful people!

  30. Sarah says:

    WTF is the matter with people??? I would make damn sure that everyone involved was fired, and prosecuted, then sued!!! Poor little girl, this just makes me want to hurt someone!

  31. Reese says:

    I am appalled and pissed off! I am a mother who has a child with autism. The parents should sue everyone involved. You would think that the staff would know how to handle a situation such as this. She has autism for gods sake!!!! Did the police really think she would not react the way she did. Did the staff not think to call the parents? They should have never called the police. F*eaking morons!!!! Its sickening. Is staff even trained to handle a child with autism? Obviously not!!!! Sue their as*es off!!!

  32. P.B. says:

    I want to first apologize to the Towry family for this; i can’t even put a name on it, but I do offer an apology.
    We live in a world of free thinker, for a long time, and now the powers to be want to transform what has made us Americans into socialist world.
    I take pride in being a free thinker and I recognize the attacks on our school system to set policy in the court system to use as future guide lines to refuse education to the free thinkers or nonconformist and true Americans, meaning Americans that love America because of the freedoms we have came expect and live to love.

    If this story gets under your skin become a member of your school board and PTA. This way you have a voice in the hiring and firing processes.
    Better yet run for public office in your area. What can you lose. Obama sought to make a difference and you can too.
    Stand up and be recognized or continue to hold your head down like a cowering dog. I refuse!!!!! and you should to.

    United We Stand,

    Platinum Blaxx

  33. Railey says:

    So sad for the little girl. Seems like some adults(teachers) were involved initially, who have control issues of their own. Anyone with some skills could come up with a compromise. Big deal…a cow sweatshirt. Unbelievable! For it to get that out of hand reflects poorly on the school. For the police to get involved on that level seems foolish, especially without contacting the parents. Apologies, at least, are in order as well as some renumeration for the abuse, ignorance & stress.
    Signed: mother of 4, 1 special needs

  34. Anonymous says:

    What’s sad is that our country fails to properly fund our public schools with educated teachers, behavioral specialists, psychologist, and social workers that do want to help our special needs children. Our children our suffering and are forced out of public into private sector.

  35. Anonymous says:

    How unfortunate that this is all we can expect from our protectors and service providers and of course they are protected with immunity from prosecution even if you sue. Our biggest threat of mass destruction right here all over America

  36. Minnie Harreld says:

    Why post? it will only be denied. Apparently you approve of this conduct

  37. jcdinform says:

    The Child was clearly the Victim of educated idiot State Workers and later was man handled by jack-Boot law Enforcement. – Everyone born on Planet Earth knows that Autistic Children are prone to degree’s of Anger and Violence when their Routine is Changed.- They are also sensitive to touch and Noise.

  38. Anonymous says:

    O well!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I agree with all of the other concerned parent s and individual citizens. What the hell was so wrong with the jacket anyway and also what happened to notifying the parents of a student when something is the matter. I say the shit out of the school and the police dept.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I think it sad but maybe next time she will listen and the adluts or whoever didnt have and reason to hit an 8 yr old
    the parents should take action and talk to her

  41. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to say the staff was in error. Hopefully the are trained to work with children with special needs meaning there does not appear to have been a reason to physically restrain the student. As a former teacher I fully realize students must learn to obey authority figures. Equally as important is the need for authority figures to recognize when the student needs extra time, etc. Parents should have been notified BEFORE the police were called.

  42. Anonymous says:

    We are outraged at this sad story, as well as others stories like this one. We do have a 3 y.o daughter-she may not be autistic-but I agree w/ the person who said that "all hell would break loose" if this were to ever happen to our daughter. I agree with the other people, who commented "both, the police & all school staff (involved) should not only be fired, but criminally charged, as well." I mean, this lil' girl was not only 8 yrs. old, but autistic-certainly NOT a troubled person who brought a gun into school, or something to that serious affect. The way this situation was handled was way out of hand, and I hope the family of this lil' girl does, in fact, press charges & definently SUES! Parents should do everything, in their power (not only) to protect their children, but to teach them to fight for what is right-which this situation was certainly NOT right at all. We wish you all the best & May God Bless this family & all people who have gone through this sort of ordeal.–Parents in CT

  43. CynicalOtto says:

    The rogue police may not get along with with each other yet they will stick together in most disputes. If they can find an informant that is a chronic, habitual liar, this is what they go by. Then they will attempt frame ups against an innocent person by planting seeds of evil coercing those who want recognition to lie and stretch the truth. As you all know, the lie has wings and is beleived and acted on, the truth is slow of foot and ignored and deleted from investigations. Most police are law abiding persons but it is the freeloading parasites in the higher echelons of police authority that causes the problems. Can they be weeded out? Doubtful as it is the Good Old Boys criteria. Many freeload to get their retirement years in wihtout any danger so select a law abidng, good natured person or one who is menatally slow to pursue. When caught Testilying on the witness stand, nothing is ever done about it.

  44. Anonymous says:

    What kind of school party??? One during school hours? If so, why didn’t anyone mention a problem with her hoodie eariler… and call her parents?? If after school hours, then why were’nt her parents with her?

  45. Tony says:

    This is complete and utter bull. The parents should sue the school and the police. The school should have been prepared for any possible incidences that could arise from a diorder like this. They should have trained the teachers how to reaction in these kind of situations.The only reason the teachers didnt call the parents before the police is because they didnt want to bother with her till they got there. They should loose their jobs because obviously they arent doing them properly. And as far as the police goes they were completely out of line putting handcuffs on a 8yr old girl let alone a autistic child, and then keeping her for a hour before calling the childs parents. None of this should be let go or over looked. And all of this could have been prevented by the teachers not being soo damn imature about a freakin hoodie that looks like a cow.I hope you stupid teachers feel big and bad treating a child like this over a hoodie.I would understand if it was provocitive or something like that but come on a cow hoodie get real people. You need fired for being incompitant.

  46. Nathan says:

    This kind of behavior is exprcted of an autistic child. Weren’t the teachers trained? Wasn’t the staff informed? I’m aware of “police procedure,” but handcuffs are a bit too much…. but this isn’t the first time this has occurred. Yes, why weren’t the parents notified first?

  47. Norman says:

    I work in a school and I cannot believe that the teachers in Idaho could be that unfeeling and idiotic to handle this scared little girl in that manner. Shame on them!! If I were that little girl’s parents, I would be making them accountable – big time – for (1) calling the police and (2) allowing this child to be handcuffed and carted away. What is this world coming to?? My nephew is autustic and Lord forbid if he should ever be treated that way. Upstate NY

  48. Anonymous says:

    We are really going downhill as a society! The school knew this young girl was autistic… and they pull this trash on a family and a very innocent young girl? The Supt. and the Principal should both be discharged without pay for the callous, unprofessional behavior of their staff!!!!

  49. Troy says:

    Whats next? the staff at Kootenai elementry obtain teasers from the Idaho state police!

  50. Francisco says:

    Are you people stupid? everyone keeps saying SUE, SUE, SUE that school for everything they have…. Guess who has to pay for that lawsuit ?… yeah…you! the blue collar taxpayer who pays income tax. It wont hurt the school…they will just pass a higher levy for you to pay… This explains exactly why children like her should not go to public schools… teachers are taught to teach, SPECIAL EDUCATION teachers are trained to teach children with disabilities!

  51. Don says:

    I am a teacher. While I find this situation extreme, it should be mentioned that most teacher in the regular education classroom are not trained on how to deal with students with autism. We are given a half day training with no support after that (at least where I teach). I have had taught 5 children with autism in my career and each one is different. If you think that teachers need more training, you should support more money going into education in order to provide more training for teachers. By the way, at the training, restrait was one of the ideas that we were taught to use.

  52. Alexander . says:

    this is an example of how people are getting in this world, she was only 8 years old and autistic. how would they like it if they had no control of what was going on and someone was doing such things to them. and why did the police arrest the little girl, i know i would have been terrified if the police put me in handcuffs and i not know what was going on. i think some action should be tooken because that was not called for and someone needs to be punished.

  53. Edwin Carl says:

    The teachers and police should be ashamed. I have a granddaughter that is autistic and there is no special needs teacher in her room at all. The class teacher has problem’s understanding her. She hasn’t had a meltdown at school yet. But who knows when she will. They need to train the teachers and staff to deal with these children. They are human just like any one else. They are not responeable for being that way.

  54. Beatrise says:

    If that child was my kid you can bet I would be not only suing the school but the police department AND the county prosecutor. I would ALSO report them to the Department of Children and Families and DEMAND a full investigation.

    AFTER that I would carry my issues forward to the STATE and then hit the media…after THAT I would make sure Washington has an earful of things and trust me…while on my way I would make sure to grab the organization for Disabilities, as well as some other children organizations to sound off about this.

    AFTER all of that…there wouldn’t be another case like this.

  55. Manuel T. says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Them police officers should pay for what they did to that little girl. How they treated that little girl should be committed as a crime because she didn’t do anything that serious and even if she did their were no need for handcuffs. Come on, be serious. I know them police officers have children, and I wonder how will they feel if a officer put their child in handcuffs? And they didn’t call them or anything? They will have a fit. They took it to far. They don’t deserve their badges. I know they had more options, like calling the parents. Well all I want for the parents and most importantly for the little girl, is to get JUSTICE!!!!

    I will pray for the family!!!
    Straight from New Jersey!!!

  56. Lee says:

    She was wearing a cow suit, where was PETA?

  57. Anonymous says:

    What?!It’s a jacket on an autistic girl! Why can’t the just call the parents? And if it’s so bad, why didn’t they just tell her to go home and change? I am willing to bet that she will have this follow her for life. Sue the school and police.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Why would the school personnel care if she wore her cow costume? She should NEVER have been barred from the school party to begin with! Second, why didn’t anyone at the school understand her needs? Wearing the costume was her security blanket and she never should have been forced or even asked to remove it. Also, it amazes me that the school personnel had no idea of how to approach her. Putting her into another room was probably very frightening to her and was not appropriate at all. As the number of people with autism is growing tremendously, it behooves all of us to educate ourselves on the needs and behavioral characteristics of someone with autism. I am a special ed teacher and also a parent who has a child with autism and am very alarmed about how this child was treated. This staff and the police obviously need a lot of training on how to treat children and adults with autism. She was not kicking because she was bratty or spoiled, but because she was frightened and her need for security was not met.

  59. Curtis says:

    I am not surprised as my own son suffers from bi-polar disorder and we have had nothing but problems with the regular school system. They are simply not trained properly to deal with these kids that have special needs and quite honestly seem to have no interest in learning. And as far as an IEP…forget it because they do not follow it and when I asked for assistance in placing my son in a school more appropriate for his needs the principal insisted they could handle it. It wasn’t until after my son obtained an injury that required 8 stitches for a deep laceration in the back of his arm and a call to the board of education that I finally got results. The school system today for these kids is crazy.

  60. Bryan says:

    Also, as far as the school knowing weather the child has a disability or not, only the people the parent tells knows that. Not all of the child’s teachers will know as this information is not always passed on with the excuse that the child is entitled to his or her privacy and the information is only given if they feel that the person absolutely needs to know. Therefore, when something does happen, the teacher does not always respond appropriately because they were not expecting such a situation to ever occur. (the mother of the bi-polar child)

  61. Glenn says:

    was it really that big a deal that she not wear the hoodie. Its okay for little girls to dress like they are in their 20’s with low cut skirts and makeup, but heaven forbid a small child with autism wear her favorit hoodie. Not to mention this was a holiday party where sprits are supposed to be high and fun for the kids. I hope the parents make a big stink about this and let the world know what their child went through. I know if it was my child I would raise hell.

  62. Chad says:

    I am a Special Day Class teacher. I do not condone what happened here, but we were not there to know the whole story. Quite a few times I have had to clear out my students, for their safety, of the classroom due to violent behaviors of children with disabilities.

    I have had desks, chairs, books, games and what ever was handy thrown toward people. And it could be over something as simple as removing a jacket. One time I was attacked because I told a girl that her hair looked pretty. I didn’t know that mom and her had a fight prior to school about her hair. This mom would refuse to come to school to pick up her child if she had an out burst, because “it was reinforcing her bad behavior.”

    My staff and I don’t put hands on students, but I have had to stop kids from attacking others. Why I mention these things is to have people understand that we don’t know the whole situation and to sue the school and won’t solve any problems. All this will accomplish is to take money away from the school and assure that less money will be in the general fund that go towards training and the student body.

    One can insist that the teachers receive training to help deal with the behaviors which I am sure is going to happen with all of this media exposure! Let’s hope the girl and her teachers get the help they all need, instead of threats of lawsuits.

    I LOVE my job and my students with their special gifts. Somedays are like this, fortunately they are far and few between!

  63. Leonard says:

    Did the school even KNOW she was autistic!?!?

  64. Marvin says:

    I am the parent of two autistic children. This was NOT an appropriate response to this child. Where is her school advocate? Does she not have a supported education program or coordinator? It sounds like a HUGE lack of training on how to handle meltdowns (or how to avoid them with prompting, picture schedules, etc.)

    Definitely some training for this staff – at a minimum – is in order. I feel very badly for this child.

    My daughter (now 11) was put in a corner once for absolutely no reason – again, this school worker was NOT trained in special needs. My daughter still talks about it to this day.

  65. Anonymous says:

    School officials and the police should have their collective butts burned and made to pay the price.

  66. Alvin says:

    An out of control juvenille…hmmmmmm…sounds like out of control, uneducated/ignorant teachers and school personel…As already stated the school I’m sure was well versed in this girls disability…all of this over a cow hoodie???What would have happened if something really critical was happening…which obviously did after then overreacted…I do not see fault in the Police Dept. on this and lay the full blame on the school…the parents should have been contacted LONG before the police…sad state of affairs here…If the school had not let this esculate to the point that it did, the police never would have been involved…they need to consider different avenues of approach here…scary and very sad.

  67. Wesley says:

    I feel that the teachers where at falt here. This poor girls parents should press charges, but I feel sueing would be pointless because no amount of money would compinsate for what this girl went thru, and it would only hurt those who you are sueing. Two wrongs DO NOT make a right.

  68. Warren says:

    I am a special education teacher, and I love my children very much, this is my passion, I work with all children with special needs,autistic children,you name it everyday,allday, and these teachers should have known how to handle a case like this, they don’t even need to be in the school system,seems to me they are there for a paycheck, I am furious that this happened to this child. These teachers make other teachers look bad, but you all know this is not right what they did, and to the family I hope you do what is right for your child so it won’t happen to another child.

  69. Patt says:

    That Hoodie is adorable. Why couln’t she wear it? As for police handcuffing her it’s Ridiculous , but not BRUTAL. This is not a case of Police Brutality.

  70. Leroy L says:

    this special needs shild has rights like anyone else..her rights were invaded upon by her teachers and the police….it is up to the parents to protect this childs rights..if the parents dont protect her, than who will..the parents need to sue all who are involved and let the whole country know just what has happened.and the need to spread the word that special needs children have rights and as parents we will protect those rights..

  71. Anonymous says:

    Surely we as a country have gone overboard with getting tough on crime. We now arrest and jail 8, 9, and 10 year old children. No matter what these children have done or are doing, they need to be treated like children not adults. This case is a clear example of over zealous police and stupid teachers. I pray that the little girl recovers from the trauma that was inflicted on her. It is time to stand up and say enough is enough. And for the idiot who thinks that an autistic child is someone that wants to have their way and advocates just spaning the child to change their ways, he or she need to get a grip. Research Autism before making such idiotic remarks.

  72. Anonymous says:

    The adults who bruised the child should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, the parents should sue and every faculty member involved should be fired. Absolutely. If it was my kid, they would think the hounds of hell were after them. These hicks think because they have a government job that it gives them the right to control and brutalize and it is time to say “ENOUGH” and put a stop to it. An autistic 8 year old…probably harmed by some government-forced vaccination to boot.

  73. Ray Ray says:

    That event was not only a Civil Rights Violation, it was child abuse, police brutality, false imprisonment, assault & battery and any other charge that can be dredged up. Holding any minor incommunicado without parental notification is a huge felony; I think it could be classified as kidnapping. What does she weigh? Maybe 60 lbs? And the officers? Everyone involved should have their asses sued off and lose everything – employment, benefits, reputation, resumes, records, retirement funds, and they should be liable for all her medical costs. I am so angry, I'm steaming! They deserve a criminal record and I hope the ACLU gets involved.

  74. Dean says:

    I say sue the school AND the city for what they did. Besides the idiot teachers at the school, the police should not have allowed the child to be without her parent or guardian for “a couple of hours” at their station either and the police handcuffing her – outrageous!

    What’s up with the prosecutor? It’s the perfect time to take legal action – they should be held liable for what they did to her.

  75. Anonymous says:

    oh no!!!!!! if any one ever did that to my kid (cops or not) they would have me all over them… I am not a fan of police anyway so it would not be a good day for those f#$kers

  76. Henry 66669 says:

    I say sue both the School, the Teachers & Police & The Officers involved. When the child got upset they should have called her parents right away, and when is it a crime to wear a hoodie jacket in the class room or anywhere?

  77. Anonymous says:

    As a foster parent I had several children with
    mental problems. Not one time were they abused or the police called on them. We had teachers and school staff who were trained and really cared. if anyone was called it was me. is it more inportant for us to save our whales or various animals of the world? LETS SAVE OUR CHILDREN Lets use that money to train our teachers to teach and care for these special
    ones. my heart goes out to this child and her family. A million dollars won’t make the hurt she has suffered go away but maybe help in some
    small way. Yes press charges and SUE

  78. Anonymous says:

    99% of you are judgmental people who can’t spell or punctuate a sentence, yet you want to say how things should be? You don’t even know if the parents were available to deal with the situation, and you’ll be the first to complain when taxes go up to support proper training of school personnel and police officers. I’ve been on both sides of the situation, having had children who were ‘held back’ from their potential by foreign-speaking or less intellectually fortunate children in the class, and having a special needs child. I did not expect the rest of the class and the teachers to run their efforts and time around my children, but found them the resources that would help them succeeed to the best of their ability. It was always clearly understood that I would be notified if my challenged child was out of control, but that the police would be called if he was a danger to himself or someone else. Nowhere does it say this unfortunate little girl was arrested; only that whe was restrained. None of you know if this was for her own safety, or the safety of others. Yes, it was surely traumatic for her, as most likely much of her life is. It’s very sad, but don’t be in such a hurry to pass blame without knowing the whole story. Teachers have every right to protect themselves, and a responsibility to protect all their students. Police officers are duty-bound to protect, and have every right to defend themselves. An out-of-control person of any age can do serious damage to themselves and others. My heart bleeds for this little girl and her family. I cry for their pain, suffering, and heartache, and I pray for them.

    Our first instinct is to shelter those who can’t look out for themselves, and good for us. But none of us were there that day, and can’t know how we would have dealt with it. We hope we would have done a good job of it, but until we’re in that position, what right do we have to cast so many stones? I am very sorry for my son and all the children we try to mainstream, to give as normal a life as we can, but it’s just not always going to be what we wish with all our hearts it will be for special needs kids. They are ‘out of tune’, and sometimes out of control, but that is their pain, and ours as parents. We can’t blame others for not having the skill to deal with very personal behavior that we deal with on a daily basis. Every kid is different. Some can conform, some can’t. No teacher or police officer can be expected to know how to deal with every child that lives outside of expected parameters. This is not a perfect world, People. Pray for the child and her family that they can find the right place and resources for her, but don’t blame people who don’t have appropriate training and skill to handle situations with perfect tact and understanding. They do the best they can for the greater good. And please remember that it’s the media’s job to do just what they did–inflame opionion and get people to react. They gave you part of the story, not the whole thing.

    Do none of you realize how dangerous teeth, kicking feet, and flying fists and elbows can be? No, these are not guns, but they’re serious weapons in an out-of-control body. An 8-year-old can flail mightily, and do a lot of damage. I truly can see how her legs could be bruised by the simple act of restraining her.

    I don’t know what the whole deal was about her ‘costume,’ or hoodie, or whatever it was. It’s not the point. The child can’t run the classroom, no matter his or her issues. And if he or she loses control, someone needs to take control. Do you not see that the teachers tried to help her, and when they realized they were hurting her they called in reinforcements? Do you truly believe the teachers and officers wanted to further harm and traumatize this child? Most teachers and officers are parents themselves. I would bet it broke their hearts to have to deal with the situation as they did as much as it’s breaking all of ours. But sometimes shit just happens, we do the best we can at the time, and we relive it in our minds forever, wishing we’d have done this different, or that instead. Listen to all sides before you rush to judgment.

  79. Charlie says:


  80. OomYaaqub says:

    It is because of exactly this sort of thing that my son, who has Aspergers Syndrome (similar to high functioning autism) is being homeschooled, and will go to a small private high school when he’s older. We went through an incredible amonth of garbage with our oldest before pulling him out of school. The public schools have been utterly out of control for a long time. I wouldn’t move heaven and earth before I’d even send a totally “normal” child there.

  81. Anonymous says:

    The staff needs to be far, far away from autistic children if they have to resort to police. Go away “teachers” as there are many who
    can do your job. Please sue the
    district and the police force. Take it as far
    as you can and don’t look back.

  82. Anonymous says:

    I doubt this article is accurate. This story is lacking in detail. You people are stupid for believing everything you read. And who is to say as to what degree this girl is autistic. She may very well have a high level functioning form of the disorder. Again, this story is clearly lacking detail.

  83. gina says:

    It’s so sad that the police and teachers think they have the right to use that much force on an 8 year old autistic child.
    I have to agree with the person who said there should have been an IEP in place and the teachers would have known this is they were doing their job properly. Where the heck was the principle of the school?
    The parents have the right to sue and they most definiely should. They should stand up for their childs rights and any other children who this might happen to in the future. This type of brutality needs to stop.

  84. Billy B. says:

    If there was a dress code banning hoodies with cows her parents should have been informed of this. If there was not, the teachers should have left her alone, in either case, she should not have been banned from the party unless she was disruptive. Calling the police only became necessary when they attacked her. Why didn’t the police just take her home instead of arresting her. All seems crazy to me.

  85. Anonymous says:

    This is very sad, and I can only hope that it makes people realize how sick our society really is. I know someone who works with children such as this little girl, and it’s no easy job. However, there are ways to handle these special little children and physical force is not the way. The teachers should be let go immediately. Children must feel safe in learning environments, not controlled. I wish the best for the family, and more importantly evelyn! We really need to re-evaluate how we are educating our children and what learning environments work.

  86. Ronnie says:

    Poeple in this country have got to stop being sheep. Truly, we’re like a bunch of sheep grazing on a hillside … the shepards leading us here and then there … wherever. We are abused, case in point is this story, we are lied to, treated disrespectfully, taxed and overtaxed, our homes are taken away, our dignity.. it goes on and on. the key to change…. quit acting like sheep. Most people whine among themselves but do not take a stand or even a shout out to the people who could make a difference. Start with something small … next time you’re on a line at a store and there is one cashier open to service a line that is 20 people deep, find a manager to open a few more cashiers! Soon enough you’ll find yourself angry enough to find a lawyer when your autistic child is abused without a second thought. Im just sayin! Stop acting like sheep America!

  87. Lloyd says:

    and over a hoodie. why the TEACHER want it

  88. Anonymous says:

    More corruption of much of our right wing law enforcement to get an extra buck for any arrest or bust they can make, regardless of the circumstances that this was a young child held against her will and disabled. Thank God in three days from now when Bush laves office we can throw the Patriot Act out the door and get rid of these oppressive dictatorship so-called security laws.

  89. RolanD says:

    Soon and very soon, parents with austism will be teaching their own kids specially if they don’t want anyone touching them, other kids can’t learn when they act out. So who’s fault is it the teacher, the student or the parents.
    If they don’t deal with it now look out later when they are older and bigger who will they call: right the authority-POLICE, Do it now solve the problem up first nipit in the bub.

  90. Anonymous says:

    put yourself in their place, if you have not been put in that situation, you don’t know what your reaction will be. So don’t judge them so quickly for their actions. If normal misbehave, austism is much worst.

  91. Lester says:

    I think that the parents of Evelyn should sue the school and the police department. This kind of behavior from those in a position of authority, should not be allowed. Even if the girl was not autistic. No one that young should be treated like they did. Don’t they know what kind of trauma they could cause this little girl.

  92. Brianna says:

    That is so uncool in so many ways. Oh My gosh they wouldnt let come to a christmas party because of a cow costume she loved. I think they were being such racist people. They wouldnt let because she is autistic and does things a different way. To restrain an 8 year old girl with autism is like a scared little puppy in a corner with big dogs around her. I would of acted the same as her but i would of said your being so mean let me go.
    I seriously will give the people i piece of my mind if i see them. I will restrain them and out them in a chair for 3 hours and hit them with a chair.

    I hope you move on from that expierence. My prayers and thoughts go out to you you little cute 8 year old.


  93. Lewiss says:

    Get a lawyer and proceed…..they need to realize that this is unacceptable and it shouldn’t happen to anyone else. This is so sad…..

  94. Vivianne says:

    Hello this is an EIGHT year old AUTISTIC kid who wants to wear a cow hoodie wats wrong with that? She probably has developed to a 5 year old’s brain when I was five a always wore a crown. All the adults got a kick out of it when a autistic kid wants to wear a hoodie the adults say no WTF is wrong here?

  95. Lisa says:

    I worked with autistic children for many years. Unfortunately, there were times when physical restraint was necessary; when the child becomes a danger to themselves or others. This child did not want to take off her costume? So, let her wear it!
    Those who state (above) that these are just spoiled children are clearly ignorant. True Autism is very disabling, it is often accompanied by mental retardation, and is very difficult for both the sufferer and the caretakers. It cannot be cured or handled with a “spanking.” That will only result in more trauma to the child, and probably more violence.
    Special educators and their aids are trained in restraint techniques that, when used correctly, do not result in injury. Sadly, some are not trained well enough, others can be just cruel and stubborn. When a teacher or aid gets into a battle of wills with an Autistic child, someone in authority should intervene and use greater sense. With any child there are issues where you cannot allow a child to have their own way, say going out in February in shorts. But, there is also a time to say, “this is not that important”, and let her do what she wants.
    ALL special educators should know this, and know the limits of their own patience – there is a time to walk away too.
    Throughout my many years in special ed, numerous incidents have happened. Autistic children can be aggressive and I, and others, have been injured while preventing a child from injuring themselves or a classmate. No matter how bad a situation became, the police were never called. Most police officers know nothing about handling developmentally disabled individuals, and their actions are not appropriate. Training films have been made for the police department, but it appears that very few officers have seen them.
    In this case, the school took all the wrong actions; first by making an issue of the fact that this child wanted to cotinue to wear her costume, second by using physical restraint that resulted in injuries to the child, and lastly, and most importantly, by involving the police. The police officers did the only thing they know how to do, handcuff and arrest. Their actions were totally inappropriate, unprofessional and clearly not thought through.
    Although I do not advocate firing everyone involved in this situation, clearly some serious training should be done. The school involved needs to train their staff in non-injurious forms of restaint, as well as what issues make restraint necessary.
    The police officers could be trained too, but I don’t have much faith that will help. If it were my child I would definately file a suit against the police department. The threat of issues like this costing the city money may awaken authorities to the need for a better trained police force. If police officers were held personally responsible for their actions, they would become much more cautious, possibly even educate themselves about special needs children, and adults. Only through information and education can all individuals, whether or not educators or police officers, understand the developmentally disabled, and mentally ill individuals in our society, and handle them appropriately.

  96. Anonymous says:

    No child should be subjected to brutality from those who are there to protect them. Children with disabilities need to be nurtured and . The trauma that Evelyn Towry sustained will probably remain with her for the remainder of her life. Certain childhood traumas, especially when inflicted by those who are caring for child has a more devistating effect than if they were inflicted by other than those the child believes she can trust. There needs to be immediate corrective action implemented to prevent this from re-occuring with the child or other children in the school. Unfortunately, the legal process is slow and lawyers often do not want to become involved in cases involving the police or other legal authorities. The child civil rights were definately violated and legal actions needs to be taken.

  97. Parent says:

    This is an outrage. I cannot believe that it had gotten to the point to where the school felt the need to call the police. We had a similiar incident with my 10 year old autistic daughter. When she was 5 years old, a teachers aide who did not have full training in dealing with autistic children yanked her arm to let her know it was time to get off the computer after letting her know it was time to get off only one minute prior. Due to the fact she believed my daughter was not listening or complying, she proceeded to yank my autistic daughter away from the computer with no measure of transition and the scene became violent. My daughter reacted combatively and the teacher’s aide was fearful because she had never seen my daughter have that type of reaction and it was made worse by the aide trying to restrain her. My daughter has never since had that type of reaction, and it was only due to the school allowing someone who was untrained or uneducated in dealing with the needs of autistic children prior to being allowed to work with them. It is an absolute outrage and makes me mad that this poor little girl was not allowed to wear her beloved hoodie. It makes no sense to me in the larger scope of things that it was allowed to come to this. Who are the adults here at this school? They certainly should have all known better especially since they work with these children everyday. All involved in this senseless incident should be ashamed of themselves and something needs to happen to ensure there are no repeats of these incidences ever again for the sake of all these precious children with autism.

  98. Anonymous says:

    “School is teachers who don’t know teaching “facts” that aren’t true to kids who don’t care…..” Matt Groenig (The cartoonist.)Teachers are nothing but prison guards who deserve abuse and complete disrespect.

  99. lonnie says:

    f*ck the cops they all need to go to hell and someone needs to blow them up and finish each one of them. i hope a terrorist attacks us again but only the government especially law enforcement. i wuold support them on killing law enforcements.

  100. raymond says:

    Unfortunately this is not the first time I have heard similar events. First let me say that unless you were present you cannot possibly know exactly what took place. I have spent many years working with children who have developmental disabilities that manifest in many ways. The parents/guardians/teachers/doctors/siblings…everyone who might come in contact with the child were given education and practical advice on what to do when the situation requires extreme action. That means say, the child has a complete blowout and usual techniques aren’t working worth a shit. There are STILL options and they don’t require the police. There is a big problem with most of the posts – everyone wants to “get back” at the teachers/school/PTA/janitor/police/mayor… you see my point. We grownups have to make a decision. Do we want to “get back” at the people involved or do we want to do the best thing for the child?, and future children encountering the same dilemma? It is imperative that decision be made before any action is taken. If you are looking for revenge or money you might as well stop reading right now. If you are truly interested about what is best for your child, and others to come – take a big deep breath and think about where the first thing went wrong.-this could save a life. Whatever you called the item that used to be called a sweatshirt with a hood REMOVE ALL TIE CORDS. The one at the “hood” and even the one at the bottom of the sweatshirt. These cords are easily grabbed by machinery or hooked over play equipment and even natural hazards such as tree limbs. It only takes four minutes of loss of oxygen to the brain before damage can set in. I personally had to witness a little girl whose hood cord somehow got hooked underneath the handrail of an escalator. Her mom was screaming and the girl was screaming but was passing out quickly and turning a horrible shade of blue. The elevator emergency stop did not work (now there is a lawsuit!)Several of us were trying to cut the cord but it had already pulled her sweatshirt up tight around her head. Finally a man ran out of the sports department with a huge knife and we VERY carefully but quickly cut her sweatshirt and t shirt off. By the time emergency help arrived it would have been too late. Almost immediately after we cut her out color started to return and then she started screaming loudly – what a wonderful sound! I don’t even like using escalators and my kids need an elevator but it’s something to watch for with shoes and other loose items- Now if you have decided to help your child in future (god forbid) situations you have to be the one to insist everyone involved must come together at least once, even if briefly. Find groups and other parents and caregivers and hammer out a step by step plan for similar situations. Your child knowing you are doing all of this for them and for other kids may or may not be understood depending on their functioning level but even if not this is your child! THEN and only then do you start to look at lawsuits and further legal steps. Find out the laws in your school district for similar situations. If you and a competent attorney feel a lawsuit is appropriate then sue the shit out of ’em. But take care of your baby first. To those who say – you can’t know unless you have been there I have adopted three special needs children. It took me a while to understand how “special” they truly are and how much they have enriched my life. Bless all of you who strive to help a child.

  101. Corner says:

    Cops are dam*ed if they do and damned if they don’t.
    That little pratt was out of control and had to be restrained for a short while, if the office did not use his given tools to restrain her, and in this case a pair of hancuffs,if he were to use a different method to restrain this child such as holding her down with his bare hands,everyone will be yelling bloody murder as the cop was attempting to malest this child!

  102. Flossy says:

    Suepiorr thinking demonstrated above. Thanks!

  103. Brianna says:

    Major thanks for the article post. Will read on…

  104. hyip says:

    Regards for sharing Police Brutality Police Arrest and Handcuff 8 year old Autistic Girl with us keep update bro love your article about Police Brutality Police Arrest and Handcuff 8 year old Autistic Girl .

  105. Anonymous says:

    This makes me sick. A LITTLE GIRL with special needs got arrested for not taking off her HOODIE?! This is the kinda stuff that makes me feel like we haven’t evolved since post-Civil War.

  106. zhang li li says:

    i was in jail before when i was just born. they caned me.now i am 3 year old

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  108. Sally says:

    This is all about a young man suffering with Autism and mild intellectual disabilities was contacted and after 3 days texting (he believes it is friends pranking him) was invited and lured to a park by Yuma police, an undercover Mom and daughter, All this is seen in the text, additionally, in the texts he twice states, can this wait til tomorrow. (He never saw, met, invited, or touched this supposed person.) He is immediately arrested, after hours of police trickery, intimidation and deception upon an Autistic person, he provided the Police their planted and coerced false confession. Yuma continued their exploitation of a vulnerable person by knowingly offering him an illegal plea deal.

  109. Anon says:

    These school staff and police should all be fired. Why would you call police on an 8 year old girl? What could she possibly have done that required police? Police are there to arrest criminals, not 8 year old girls having a tantrum for whatever reason. If the staff hadn’t PHYSICALLY ABUSED this girl she wouldn’t have DEFENDED herself against CRIMINALS. If I was that girl’s father I would probably want the heads of every individual involved. How dare the police arrest a child!

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