Last April I wrote about the arrest of John Haywood, a ten year old autistic boy, who sobs as he’s taken to the police career, his mother filming it. The video went viral, as well it should, because it’s awful. I wrote:
If the video shocks you, and it should, imagine how often children with autism or other disabilities are being arrested in situations where there’s no video, no parent present and no viral outrage. If teachers, administrators, and cops continue to criminalize children for violating what I have come to call a “cult of compliance,” punishing them for acting in ways that come naturally, how can we decriminalize disability?
Seven months later, despite the media outcry, the boy still faces charges, isn’t in school, and nothing has changed.
Viral videos aren’t enough.