The mother of an autistic boy has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was illegally arrested after writing a bomb threat in an Upson County school restroom.
She’s seeking more than $1 million in compensation and damages stemming from the incident, according to the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
The lawsuit names as defendants Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore, deputies Casey Clark and David Walker, Upson-Lee North Elementary School Principal Shad Seymour and Assistant Principal Tracy Wainwright.
The 9-year-old boy saw students being escorted out of school Dec. 3, 2014, after a bomb threat was found written on the wall of a bathroom stall, according to the complaint.
“Without understanding the consequences of his actions,” the boy wrote “bone thrat” in a similar area Dec. 8, 2014, and he told a student monitor, according to the suit.
The student monitor told a teacher, and authorities were called to the school.
While being questioned by police without his mother present or being told of his Miranda rights, the boy admitted writing the threats, according to the suit.
The boy’s mother said he was charged with terroristic threats and taken to the sheriff’s office, where he was questioned again and released about an hour later.
She maintains that she and her son were deprived of their due process rights and that the boy’s arrest was improper because of his age and autism.
“They had no business arresting him,” said the mother’s attorney, Ralph Goldberg. “They were supposed to notify his parents … and they did not.”
Alan Connell, a lawyer representing the Upson County school system, said his clients hadn’t been served with copies of the lawsuit. He declined comment.
Attempts to reach Kilgore were unsuccessful.