Parents of autistic teenager ask for other educational options after being bullied and humiliated at Deerfield High School – and it has become a struggle
DEERFIELD, Illinois (CBS) – Autistic teenager was humiliated to the point of not wanting to go back to school – and his parents say it’s for good reason.
These parents are now asking the school district in the northern suburbs where their son is enrolled to place him in a safe environment. But CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov found it had become a fight.
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âMy son texted me from school saying, ‘Mom, something horrible happened to me,’â said Ilise Zeiger.
This is how Zeiger said the Deerfield High School nightmare began for his 15-year-old son. We don’t show or name it, in order to add a layer of protection to its identity.
“He said,” The kids were pointing at me and laughing and me in a class that I was in, and I stood up to see what was going on, and I noticed there was a video of took me when I was in the bathroom stall – and they were watching this on Snapchat, âZeiger said.
This incident was traumatic enough. The trauma was made worse because her son has autism, with anxiety as part of his official diagnosis.
âI couldn’t believe this happened,â Zeiger said. âMy son had previously struggled to feel safe in his school. “
It happened on Thanksgiving week. His son has not taken back the meaning of school.
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Zeiger and her husband began contacting the high school and Township High School District 113, requesting alternative schooling options that would align with her son’s special education IEP, or Individualized Education Plan.
âWe asked the district for an appropriate placement that would match their academic needs,â Zeiger said.
Among the options requested was home schooling.
Zeiger said the district had ghosted him first, then offered only one option – return to Deerfield. But arrangements would be made to separate her son from his classmates in most situations.
Special education advocates say the district is supposed to offer the least restrictive housing. It would be just as restrictive.
Less than an hour after we contacted the high school to comment on this situation, Zeiger said she received an email from the Co-chair of Special Education at Deerfield – offering to move her son to Highland Park High School. Zeiger says no.
“We all have to remember that he is the victim in this situation,” she said.
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The Zeigers have filed a police report and the matter is currently under investigation. They are also talking to a lawyer.