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Autistic boy locked in closet at elementary school

Lana Bandoim's picture
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A disturbing story has appeared from Georgetown about an autistic boy being isolated at his elementary school. The small Indiana town has been shocked by a mother’s report about Georgetown Elementary school mistreating her son. The school has not responded to the allegations, but the family has not given up.


Kim Gosnell has shared that her autistic son may have been misbehaving at Georgetown Elementary school. However, she never expected him to be locked in a room that was essentially a closet. The boy became extremely upset while in the closet and started to scratch the walls. The mother explained he managed to reach the drywall while staff refused to let him out.

At this time, the school has not provided an explanation for why an autistic boy was locked in the closet. Kim Gosnell still wants an answer, and she will not allow her son to return to Georgetown Elementary without one. She has added that locking him in a room makes his anxiety worse, so it should not have happened.

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This is not the first case of a child with autism being locked or secluded in closets or separate rooms in schools. In Tennessee, an autistic boy was locked in a closet at BonLin Elementary school by his teacher and unable to use a bathroom for four hours. In Kentucky, another boy with autism was kept in a time-out room for extended periods of time at Crestwood Elementary. In Washington, Marshall Elementary School teachers were accused of forcing a student into a broom closet.

There has been a growing trend of creating time-out rooms in some schools across the country. Often, these rooms resemble closets and have nothing inside, but they can be locked from the outside. Parents with children who have autism are concerned about this trend and worried about the impact it will have on their kids.

Read more about autism:
Disney accused of discrimination against people with autism
Medicaid coverage of autism services ordered by CMS

Image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons



How terrifying and how awful. I hope this gets a full investigation and a lot of press.
My kids go to Georgetown and it is an awesome school. I highly doubt any of the amazing staff there would ever intentionally hurt a child. I would like to hear the entire story. I never want a child to be harmed but I just cannot believe there was malice or harmful intent involved....I just can't.. I pray for the child and his family and also any of the staff involved in this situation. I continue to support the school and hope this can avoid litigation and serve as a learning opportunity instead.
I say the teachers(if they did do it) should be fired and tried for improper detainment of a miner, abuse of the mentally disabled, and tried for misuse of the schools property. by locking them in the closet witch was only intended to punish children whom can understand and think of there actions and the punishment for them. Specialy educated children should not have to face the same punishment as a non handicapped child. Locking an autistic or otherwise mentally disabled child is like failing someone in a wheelchair because they can't run in gym. Make the punishment fit the crime and the criminal. And why exactly are they locking small children in closets. Do that to middle school students, not small children, what's the worst that a 2nd grade kid can do?