DC Police called on child with autism who took off his mask

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education said that cops were called because the parent wouldn't leave the school bus.

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FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 file photo, students wait to board a school bus in Wheeling, Ill. With COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations spiking to record numbers across the U.S. and abroad, many school districts are temporarily shutting down in-person classes as holidays loom. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A DC mother and other parents protested outside the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on Wednesday after a bus dispatcher called the police on her son, who has autism, because he kept taking his mask off, according to NBC Washington.

Chioma Oruh told NBC that she was “really hurt” about the incident that happened on her son’s school bus two weeks ago.

“And he took the mask off on the bus because he has a sensory processing condition, along with his autism,” Oruh said. “The trust I put in OSSE was just violated.”

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In a statement to NBC Washington, Osse, which manages the school bus the incident occurred, said:

An OSSE Division of Student Transportation bus driver called for MPD support to help de-escalate a situation in which a parent would not leave a school bus, which was impairing the ability of the bus to transport students to school. The call was made after the driver and her dispatcher had been in conversation with the parent and there was disagreement about safety protocols for her child on the bus, and the parent refused to leave the vehicle.

Oruh denied that she was on the bus, according to NBC Washington.

“I was very annoyed. I was starting to cry because I couldn’t believe how this happened,” she said.