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Pasco mom upset her autistic son was handcuffed

Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 12, 2016
Allen Butler hasn’t been back to Calusa Elementary since his mother said a school resource officer treated the 7-year-old like a criminal instead of a special needs child.
 
“He’s traumatized.  He’s afraid of everyone that he doesn’t know right now,” said Sande Butler. 
 
“He was put on his stomach and had the cuffs put on him behind his back in front of his classmates.”
 
She said the Pasco Sheriff’s deputy cuffed Allen during a meltdown where he acted like he was going to stab his teacher with a pencil.
 
His mom showed us pictures she said show the bruises left behind.
 
The deputy then took the child to North Bay Recovery Center to have him involuntarily committed.
 
But Butler said the school is well aware of Allen’s behavioral problems caused not only by autism, but also a traumatic brain injury.
 
She claims they could have handled the situation much differently.
 
“He should be taken to a hospital if they think there’s something different about him or his acting anxious or frustrated,” she said.
 
The Pasco Sheriff’s office said the deputy followed state law when Baker Acting someone, no matter their age.
 
“We feel like we were clearly justified in what we did to protect this child and to protect the other kids in the area and teachers,” said Sheriff Chris Nocco.
 
Records show a doctor at North Bay found Allen “calm and collected” and didn’t admit him.
 
Now his mother now has an attorney and is looking into possible lawsuits against the school district and the sheriff’s office.
 
“My goal is to change the way that these schools are being run and make sure that no child ever has to experience anything close to this ever again,” said attorney Nicolette Nicoletti.
 
The Pasco school district said all the teachers involved in teaching special needs children at Calusa Elementary are certified in Exceptional Student Education and Crisis Prevention at a minimum.