Big Story Followup

Dec 27, 2011 10:30 PM

Online Petition Supports Mercer Co. Mom, Son

It has been two weeks and still Sandra Baker hasn't gotten an apology.

That's all the Mercer County mother says she wanted after finding her Autistic son in a school ball bag. Tuesday night, Baker said that if the superintendent won't meet her, she'll go to him and she's bringing the words of thousands of supporters with her.

At next month's school board meeting, Baker says she plans to speak out against the tactic a teacher's aide admitted using to control her son's behavior. She also says she wants the aide fired.

More people than not agree with Baker and signed an online petition that has an unprecedented number of signatures.

"There was CNN, Danville paper, our paper," recalled Baker, who could barely remember all the other media outlets she has shared her story with since LEX18 first aired it nearly two weeks ago. "The whole thing is mind-blowing to me because it's overwhelming the responses we've gotten."

Everyone wants to know about her 9-year-old son she found in a ball bag - allegedly sent there by a Mercer County Intermediate teacher's aide who told Sandra he had misbehaved.

"If they're doing it for therapy reasons - that's what it's for, but to put him in it for his behavior is wrong," Baker said.

Thousands of people signed an online petition, hosted by Change.org, started by Lydia Brown - an 18-year-old Georgetown University student with Autism.

"I personally believe that if a person is able to do something to right a wrong, then you are morally obligated to help, and when I found out about this, I realized I could do something," Brown said.

The signatures have grown - more than 10,000 over the weekend. That, according to the website's spokesperson, is "unprecedented for a campaign launched during a national holiday."

"I personally believe the teacher fully deserves to be fired," said Brown, who also said if the accused teacher isn't fired, then she should go through extensive training.

As for Baker, she says she wants to keep fighting.

"I just want to help other parents who have kids with disabilities, that it doesn't happen to their kids," she said.

The superintendent declined our interview request and only said by e-mail the incident is being handled according to the district's policies. However, Baker said school officials did meet with a state representative investigating her case.

The next school board meeting is Jan. 19th at 5:30 p.m.

Click here if you would like to sign the online petition.

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