The stepfather of an 8-year-old boy with “special needs” disagrees with how the minor was treated — and charged — after he ran away from school last month.
Robert Bluhm said his stepson, Edward Hart, has anger issues and has run away from school before. When he took off on March 19 from Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan, Mich., and was found near a local party store by school staff, police were called in to take him back to the center.
While in the back of an Allegan Police Department cruiser, Hart allegedly cursed at the officer and verbally assaulted him. He also is accused of breaking a camera in the cruiser. For this, WXMI-TV reported that the student faces felony charges for destroying police property and resisting and obstructing.
“He has special needs. He has anger issues. They know this, and they’re going to throw him in the back of a cop car all by himself?” Bluhm said. “If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car so this incident would have never took place?”
While the county’s prosecuting attorney Frederick Anderson couldn’t comment on the case as it pertained to a minor, he said that the student involved would have to go to counseling first and then court where the charges could be pursued further.
As for their own parental discipline, Bluhm told WXMI “we disciplined him majorly.”
“He has a day in a timeout chair. He had one week with no TV and he lost his [Nintendo] DS for life. We took it away because if we have to pay for this camera and pawn that off,” Bluhm told the news station.
Bluhm said he called the school to address the issue of why a teacher didn’t ride back to school with his son, but “they had no answers for me.”
The school’s superintendent told WXMI he believes the proper protocols were followed. The boy wasn’t suspended from school for his actions.
Watch WXMI’s report:
The police asked that the family pay for camera repairs, which are estimated to cost $50.