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School made autistic child wear a ‘high-vis vest’ and hung ‘Stop William’ posters around corridors

Distraught mother accuses teachers of ‘shaming’ her autistic son, 7, by hanging ‘Stop William’ posters in corridors featuring his face and making him wear a high-vis vest even when he was being taught alone

  • A mother claims her seven-year-old autistic son was shamed by his school
  • The mother says the New Zealand school forced her son to wear a ‘high-vis vest’ 
  • The school also hung ‘Stop William’ posters to stop him from running away

A mother has claimed her autistic son was shamed by teachers who forced him to wear a ‘high-vis vest’ and hung ‘Stop William’ posters around the corridors.

The mother said the posters feature her seven-year-old son’s face circled in red with a red line through the middle.

According to the woman, teachers at Grey Main School in Greymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand‘s South Island, put the posters up around school in a bid to stop him escaping.

The mother, who has remained anonymous to protect her son’s identity, said he was required to wear a hi-vis vest while in class even when he was being taught alone, Stuff reported. 

She claims the school tried to take the autism out of him and would condemn him for ‘naughty’ or ‘wrong’ behaviour. 

A mother claims her autistic son was shamed teachers who forced him to wear a 'high-vis vest' and hung 'Stop William' posters around the corridors

A mother claims her autistic son was shamed teachers who forced him to wear a ‘high-vis vest’ and hung ‘Stop William’ posters around the corridors 

According to the woman teachers at Grey Main School in Greymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island, put the posters up around school in a bid to stop him escaping

According to the woman teachers at Grey Main School in Greymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, put the posters up around school in a bid to stop him escaping

‘The school have seen my son in social environments and called him awkward, pointed out errors that he has made, constantly naming and shaming him,’ she said.

The mother asked for the posters of William to be removed but it took them a week to take them down, causing ‘huge’ emotional stress to her daughter who was questioned by peers about why her brother’s face was everywhere. 

William was four when he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and has also been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.

‘I understand my son has behaviours that at times are challenging, however, he is a very bright, intelligent boy who is eager to learn,’ she said.

William spends most of his time with a teacher aide as he is a risk to other students, a suspension report from the principal says.    

The mother said she met with the school’s board of trustees to work on a behavioural plan for William.

The mother, who has remained anonymous to protect her son's identity, said her son was required to wear a hi-vis vest while in class (stock image)

The mother, who has remained anonymous to protect her son’s identity, said her son was required to wear a hi-vis vest while in class (stock image)

He was suspended for hurting a teachers aide with scissors and a report said the school had ‘exhausted’ its resources to manage William’s behaviour. 

On February 28, the board decided to remove him from the school and he has since enrolled at a new institution. 

Mandy O’Sullivan, the principal at Grey Main School, wold not comment on individual students.  

‘We would not make decisions around exclusions lightly, but instead would use this as a last resort for very serious matters,’ she said.

Angle News Australia has contacted the school for comment.  

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Written by Angle News

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