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RIO RANCHO, N.M. – An autistic 8-year-old boy is facing a battery charge after his special education teacher filed a police report after he punched her, according to reports.

Police said the student hit the teacher in the face when she tried to take an iPad away from him, according to KRQE.

“I was not made aware that a police report had been filed against D.J.,” the boy’s mother Maria McKay told KRQE. “Very shocking. Definitely was not prepared for a missed phone call from juvenile probation that my 8-year-old autistic child had failed to appear for a scheduled meeting. I called back and assured him there was a mistake.”

Turns out it was not an error.

“There was an incident in early March where a 2nd-grade student punched a staff member,” school officials said in a statement. “We cannot speak to student or personnel matters, but I can say that the school did not initiate the police report. In addition, we cannot prevent a staff member from personally filing a report. That is his or her right.”

McKay said her son’s actions were not right but thinks the teacher should have handled the situation better.

“When he is in an environment that’s really loud he starts wailing hands and he has hit in the past,” she said. “We’ve talked about it’s not OK to hit people and we need to come up with ways to better communicate with each other because hitting is not OK. He does understand that after the fact but he doesn’t understand that in that situation.”

Her son did not go to school last week and likely will stay out of the classroom as his case navigates the legal system, according to KRQE.

“I just felt this is not an environment that my son should return to,” McKay said. “He now has to appear at juvenile probation next week for an appointment. He is absolutely terrified.”

Teacher presses charges after autistic 8-year-old punches her, police say

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