Perry County students film autistic student in school bathroom, charges filed

Perry County students film autistic student in school bathroom, charges filed
Photo credit: WDAM

PERRY COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Video of an autistic student in a school bathroom at Perry Central High School surfaced on social media, and district officials said three students are to blame.

The incident, where a 15-year-old special needs student was filmed while using the restroom, appeared on Snapchat Wednesday.

"His aunt, who knows a girl that goes to the school, who was on Snapchat and saw a video of him using the bathroom and kids videoing him, called and told me," said the student's mother, Kristin Hutchinson.

According to law enforcement officials, the incident involved three juveniles, two that are 16, and one is 17. Names of the students are not being released because they are juveniles.

Authorities said the student that shot the video is facing three charges, filming another person where there is an expectation of privacy, which is a felony, as well as cyber bullying and exploitation of a vulnerable person, both of which are misdemeanors.

The other two involved are facing one misdemeanor charge each.

"He's been there all year, and I have felt very comfortable with everything until this, I know they can't control the phone usage, I know that's hard to do, but I really just feel like how it was handled, getting in touch with me was handled very inappropriately," Hutchinson said.

Perry County School District Superintendent Scott Dearman declined an on-camera interview, but issued this statement via email.

"We had three students who violated our Code of Conduct. They filmed another student while that student was using the restroom. We have disciplined those students to the fullest extent of our policy and law," Dearman said.

Hutchinson said, "I think there needs to be a lot better policies in place to protect these kids going to the bathroom and kids videoing them, and the phones, and punishment to know that this is not going to be done."

According to Hutchinson, the three students have been suspended in the incident, and the investigation is still ongoing.

The matters will be handled by the school district and the Perry County Youth Court where the charges were filed.