LEE COUNTY: A ten-year-old autistic student was arrested for allegedly hitting and kicking a teacher at Gulf Elementary School.
"Mom always says you have to smile for the camera and they brought a camera to take his picture so he smiled for the photo," said Heather Hawk.
Ian Garvin said, "Cheese" when deputies took his mug shot.
"When they took his picture for his arrest report he was smiling," said Hawk.
Hawk says that smile protects a boy battling disease he can't escape.
Autism impedes Ian from functioning like the other elementary school students.
"In school he's become violent and aggressive because he just wants to get away he wants to get to a safe place," said Hawk.
Thursday a tantrum erupted in school.
"He just wanted to be alone and he was trying to get them away the only way he knows how," said Hawk.
According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office incident report, the confrontation escalated over a pair of scissors.
Teacher Terri Plazewski told deputies she saw 10-year-old Ian cutting his shirt.
She told deputies another teacher told Ian to stop, but he threw the scissors, ran out of the room and locked himself in the principal's office.
School employees and the principal went into the office and Ian hit Plazewski in the upper chest and kicked her in the groin, according to reports.
The deputy said he witnessed Ian throw himself onto the floor and bang his head on the ground, "while in a crying and frantic tantrum."
Ian was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Hawk says Ian has tantrums all the time, but this time he got arrested.
"I couldn't believe a child with autism who can't understand what's going on is being arrested," said Hawk.
The Lee County school district said, "The district cannot comment because it involves a special needs student.
Hawk says scars from his arrest are permanent.
Not even Ian's special friend, his dog Chewey, can turn his mood around.
"He's playing games like, 'I'm going to arrest you mommy' things like that," said Hawk.
Ian will spend 4 days at home on suspension and will go to court to face one count of battery on a public or private education employee.
All while a mother prays for some normalcy.
"If he shuts down he might go back into his own world that he's come out of because he's made great progress as a child with autism," said Hawk.
I have to say this sounds familiar.....I am thankful I home-school Noah now so I don't have to worry about things like this happening anymore now that he is older....though I do still get anxious whenever we go somewhere and there are other kids but only if he starts to get upset or overstimulated...as you sometimes don't know what he may or may not do. However.....he is much better at controlling most of his behavior now most of the time which I am also thankful for.