An autistic boy has been charged with a terrorist offence after he drew a stick-figure pointing a gun at his teacher.
Special needs student Shane Finn, 14, who has a mental age of an eight year old, was suspended and charged with the serious criminal offence.
He was hauled out of class under a “zero tolerance” policy at his school in Atlanta,Georgia.
The boy’s mother Karen said due to his low IQ he does not understand why he is facing such a serious charge of making a terroristic threat.
“I think that there needs to be some sort of common sense used with these school systems that a 14-year-old autistic boy who does not understand what he’s done or what he’s drawn, who has an IQ of 75, should not be charged with a felony,” said Mrs Finn.
“I find it appalling. It’s outrageous.”
She said her son drew the picture in his assignment book while in class for special needs students.
The drawing depicts a stick figure, which Shane identified as himself with the word ‘me’, pointing a gun at another stick figure, identified as a teacher with the name Hartman.
The teenager also added a tombstone to the crayon picture with the letters R.I.P.
Atlanta’s Ridgeview Charter School immediately suspended the teenager and said they wanted him charged with a felony offence of making a terroristic threat.
Mrs Finn added:”It really breaks my heart because he’s a really nice kid and this is obviously from his disability. He really doesn’t have a good way of expressing anger, frustration.”
A spokesman for the school refuse to comment about the incident but said they had a zero tolerance policy on violence directed towards teachers.
By Paul Thompson
Published: 10:00PM BST 16 May 2010
Source: The Telegraph