Spokane mother says autistic student who hit her child should be - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane mother says autistic student who hit her child should be punished

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MEAD, Wash. -

It happened during 5th-period drama class at Mount Spokane High School.

“He started yelling at me for no reason,” said 14-year-old Alexis Coyle. “I was like ‘what the heck’ I thought he was messing around at first. Then he came up to me, grabbed my arm, and punched me in the face.”

The incident on Monday didn’t leave any marks, but Coyle was taken to the ER and diagnosed with a concussion.

“It hurt really bad,” she said. “It gave me a headache.”

Coyle’s mother, Marlo Bailey, says the 17-year-old student who hit her daughter is autistic, but that he shouldn’t be dismissed from punishment because of his diagnosis.

“I have a son with the same disability,” said Bailey. “They know right from wrong and just like any other citizen they should be held accountable.”

According to Bailey, the student was removed from her daughters’ class, but she doesn’t think that’s enough.

“I think we're sending a message to our kids that it's okay to hit people and get away with it,” said Bailey. “And that's not okay.”

The Mead School District is investigating the alleged assault. They say incidents like this are handled on a case-by-case basis because of the complexity of the situation.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office agrees. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, the Sheriff’s Office is aware of the incident and investigating, but they have to prove a crime was committed and that the person allegedly responsible is capable of knowing they committed a crime.

The school district says they will work with Bailey and her daughter to come up with a plan where Coyle feels safe at the school.

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