Boy With Autism Locked Out of School by Principal, Mom Says

JaMar Taylor ws locked out of school by his principal, according to his mother.
JaMar Taylor with his two younger sisters in Washington.JaVohn Perry

An 11-year-old boy with autism was locked out of his school by the principal, according to his mother.

An 11-year-old boy with autism was locked out his school by the principal, according to his mother.

"She went on the intercom and instructed everyone not to let him in," mom JaVohn Perry told Monday.  

Principal Ashlie Short was placed on paid administrative leave last week, pending an investigation, according to a statement from the Kent School District.

"Our shared focus remains on our core business of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning," the statement said. "As the process continues, we are not able to share any details about the investigation, related complaint or personnel  matters and will not comment further as this is a personnel issue and an active investigation."

District spokeswoman Melissa Laramie declined to answer questions from

Perry said her son can be seen on surveillance video walking around the school by himself, trying to get in. At one point, she said, the teacher's assistant can be seen lowering the blinds to his classroom's windows.


JaMar Taylor has behavioral issues because of his autism, his mother said. The incident happened last month, when JaMar became upset because he was told to take recess in a different room from his normal one, Perry said.


The school called and said JaMar needed to be picked up, Perry said. An employee of JaMar's after-school day care went to get him. Perry said she was told JaMar was being removed from school because he had cursed at, and shoved, the principal.


No one told her the child had been locked out of the entire school, she said.


When she later talked to her son about it, he acknowledged cursing, but denied pushing the principal. "Mom, did she tell you that she locked me out of the building?" he asked, according to Perry.


"He was really upset about the whole thing," she said. "It's very hard for him to trust people."


Perry said she later confronted school officials about the incident. The principal said she locked the doors out of concern for her physical safety after he shoved her, according to Perry.


The mother questions why her son was left outside alone. He was able to get back inside after about 13 minutes, when a friend unlocked a door for him. 


Perry said the school is currently without a special needs teacher since the previous instructor left last year. She has removed JaMar from the elementary school and is trying to find another. She has also filed a police report over the incident, she said, after viewing surveillance camera video given to her by the district.


For now, the district is providing him with a tutor. "He actually enjoys the one-on-one attention," she said.