Yes, according the Dakota County Attorney's office, my 11 year old child who is cognitively disabled and has an extensive history of impulsive and aggressive behavior, is a criminal.
Because a staff person at school invaded her personal space (against the specialized training she would have received before working with Angela) that means that Angela assaulted the staff person FIRST, and so that staff person who then in turned slapped Angela across the face will NOT be prosecuted because in Minnesota, an adult can act in "self defense" and strike back against the child. The county could, in fact, turn around and prosecute my child instead. (you better believe all kinds of not so great words came out of my mouth when I was told this.) Oh, and the county attorney's comment was "It wasn't very hard because it didn't leave a mark." HOWEVER...it WAS HEARD on the OTHER SIDE OF THE CLASSROOM!!! So please, do me a favor....strike your own face loud enough to be heard on the other side of a class room and tell me how hard it was. Would you consider it "with force"????
So, should my child do this again, she can be slapped or hit back by any staff member in school building, and that person would NOT get into any trouble!!!!! Would it happen? God I hope not. But the fact that it COULD and there would be ZERO RECOURSE scares the crap out of me. Would it scare YOU?
There are lots of "what-if's" here. For example, WHAT IF this had happened in a closed room without an audience? HOW HARD would Angela have been hit? (the county attorney's answer? "Well, there would have been a mark, then we'd have reason to prosecute.")
WHAT IF this was a non-verbal child in a closed-room situation? (The county attorney's answer? "Well, then it wouldn't have been reported, would it?")
This leaves Angela AND EVERY OTHER DISABLED CHILD WITH AGGRESSIVE TENDENCIES at SIGNIFICANT RISK in future situations. That ONE PERSON who gets the stupid idea of "If someone slapped her back once, I bet she wouldn't do it again." would get away with it!!!!!
My other question is, why does the person who did this go by TWO DIFFERENT NAMES????? She is known at school by one name, but a different name at school. (she has a two-part first name and a hypenated last name. School knows her by one part of the first name and one part of the last name.) I realize lots of people do this, but boy...it sure makes one wonder if something has happened before and she has REASON to go by different names!