Chattanooga woman says autistic boy punished for hugging classmate

Tennessee
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Classroom desks used at Decker College await auction Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at the site of the former school in Louisville, Ky. Decker, a for-profit trade school run by former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, is now closed, mired in bankruptcy proceedings and under FBI investigation in a case that has cast a long shadow over […]

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The guardian of an autistic kindergartener in Tennessee says the 5-year-old boy was for punished for hugging a classmate.

Chattanooga resident Summery Putnam told WTVC-TV a teacher accused the boy of sexual activities after he hugged one child and kissed another on the cheek. Putnam says the teacher told her Nathan was overstepping boundaries and she says a report was filed with the state Department of Child Services.

Hamilton County Department of Education spokesman Tim Hensley released a statement that says school personnel are required to report concerns regarding children.

Putnam says Nathan doesn’t understand normal social cues and boundaries. She says he has now switched classrooms and teachers and is enrolled in special education services.

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