Student with autism jumped at Gateway High School

Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

On Monday, Milca Colon was told her 16-year-old son, Joseph, got into what Gateway High School called a “small altercation” that day.

“To me, it’s not acceptable,” said Colon.

Their child getting bullied in school is a sight no mother wants to see.

“Joseph comes, and he shows me the video,” said Colon. “He’s like, ‘Look, Mom, I’m all over the school.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And he’s like, ‘look,’ he shows me that video.”

The video shows several students leaving a classroom before one of them runs up to Joeseph and punches him in the face.

Joseph said the attack came out of nowhere; he didn’t know the other students were planning behind his back to attack him.

“They’re all hunting for my child like a dog in the school,” said Colon.

Colon said she feels like Joseph was targeted because of his autism.

“They look at him; he looks like a regular 16-year-old, but when you really talk to him, you know exactly what it is,” said Colon.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental condition caused by differences in the brain.

“Autism is an invisible disability. You can’t see it until you actually start talking to the person,” said Marcela Guimolle, ABA specialist.

During the attack, Joeseph refused to fight back.

“He wants to play football. He didn’t want to get suspended,” Colon told WINK News.

WINK News reached out to the Lee County School District and received this statement:

“The school district does not tolerate fighting. All students involved, including those who record video, are subject to school discipline and potential legal consequences.” Lee County School District

Colon said she fears the school is no longer a safe space for her son.

“It’s not okay behavior for kids to do this to each other. They go to school to study,” said Colon. “To them, it was a small thing. But to me, it was my son.”

Joeseph has not returned to school since the fight.

According to Gateway High School, the other students who didn’t touch him have also been suspended.

Colon has filed a police report with the Lee County Sheriff’s office; according to the report, one student is facing battery charges.

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