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Franklin police arrest 9-year-old with autism at school

FRANKLIN, Ind (WISH) —  Franklin police arrested a 9-year-old boy with autism at his elementary school.

The boy’s father, Ronnie Shepperd, was there, too, and captured it on video.

Police said, back in August, the boy got into a fight with another student. When two teachers tried to break it up, he hit them.

The boy’s father didn’t want to go on camera but shared a video that shows police handcuffing his son.

WISH-TV asked the executive director of Mental Health America if she felt the police and school’s response was appropriate. “If students and teachers are at risk and at harm, something or someone has to intervene,” Julie Bingham said.

Bingham said there are alternatives such as pulling the child out of class.

Franklin police posted this statement on their Facebook page:

“The Franklin Police Department is aware of a video of a recent juvenile arrest being shared on Facebook. Officers involved on this call followed both department and juvenile arrest protocol. The Franklin Police Department stands behind these officers and the decisions that were made on this day.”

Franklin Community Schools Superintendent David Clendening issued this statement:

“FCS is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students, teachers and staff. At times, things happen that disrupt the learning environment, and when this occurs, the principal has the responsibility to ensure that the learning environment returns to the expected normal. He or she can bring in outside resources such as law enforcement, social services and others, in order to assist in this restoration.”

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