Petition calls for response after allegations autistic boy was abused in school

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A young Kentucky boy and his mother have become the center of a national petition after she says a school employee put her son in a bag.

Sandra Baker says her nine-year-old son Chris, who has autism, was placed in the bag as punishment for acting out at school in Mercer County. Since then hundreds of people from across the country have signed a petition in support of the family.

Baker says last week she was called to the Mercer County Intermediate School where Chris is enrolled in a program specifically for students with special needs. She says she was told Chris had been misbehaving. "When I walked in," Baker said, "I went down his hallway, and I saw this big green bag laying in the floor beside the aide that was sitting beside the bag, and I saw it moving."

Baker says teachers explained that Chris was confined to the bag as punishment. "It was a drawstring at the top and it had a hole about this big around left in the top of it," Baker said indicating a small opening, "There was no way he could get out of it, could not get his head through it if he needed to."

In a news release, Mercer County Schools Interim Superintendent Dennis Davis said, "Upon learning of the allegations, the school system reviewed the incident immediately, and the matter is being handled consistently with School District policies and with State and Federal law."

An online petition to dismiss teachers involved or require them to complete additional training has drawn widespread support. Baker says she's grateful for the encouragement. "I'm doing it because I want other parents to know that this is going on in the school system, and they may not even be aware that their child is being done this way.

School officials declined to comment on specific allegations, but the superintendent says school district employees receive appropriate training and certifications.

You can read the online petition by following this link: