In October, John was expelled from the Academy and has been completing his schoolwork from home since then, according to CNN affiliate WPBF
. Last Wednesday, he returned to the Academy to take a standardized test, but was handcuffed and transported to a juvenile detention center, where he spent the night.
The next day, John appeared in court on charges of assaulting his teacher
, was then released, and is nowscheduled to appear in court again on May 11, WPBF reported.
CNN contacted Luanne Haygood about the incident and subsequent arrest, but has not heard back at time of publication.
"I know what happened six months ago," Luanne told WPBF when her son was released, admitting that she knew her son had an incident with a school staff member. But she added that she was never warned of any warrants for his arrest or imminent problems with law enforcement.
"I never seen an arrest report, I never saw the charges I just know what was told that he may or may not press charges," she said.
On Tuesday, Luanne posted to her Facebook page
that she obtained copies of police records for John.
The school district sent the following statement to CNN in response to John's arrest:
"It has been district procedure to invite students in to take the Florida Standards Assessment. The district would not invite someone to one of our campuses for the sole purpose to arrest. The district routinely assists students by providing services from our board certified behavioral analyst, licensed mental health counselors, school social workers, and psychologists.
"As a team, these individuals develop interventions, conduct assessments, and offer support both at school and in the home in order to assist students and families.
"The district is unable to provide specific information as to both current and past incidents regarding this or any other student due to educational laws and rules. It is our hope that we can continue to work with all families to help their students improve both behaviorally and academically."
Ann Abramowitz, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, with no firsthand knowledge of the situation, said the sequence of events didn't provide her with enough information to comment on John's incident. However, various students with autism tend to benefit from certain types of carefully planned disciplinary strategies, compared to other types of discipline.
Those strategies include maintaining a calm and orderly environment, maintaining a schedule for the student, and preventing any outbursts of distress, anger or aggression, she said.
"Keep kids engaged to prevent outbursts, because once outbursts occur, they can be very challenging to manage and can lead to situations where it exceeds the school's capacity to manage the behavior," Abramowitz said, adding that "I can't really think where being put in handcuffs would be helpful to a child, and of course it just seems intuitively obvious that it could be traumatic."