(KUTV) — A 12-year-old autistic boy was placed in a Juvenile Detention Center on Monday after brandishing an imaginary rifle at his art teacher, FOX 26 reports.
The 5th grade teacher reportedly felt threatened by the child, identified as David Sims, who was arrested by a school police officer.
"She (the officer) just put handcuffs on me and told me I need to go with her," Sims said.
"They just said, 'We don't tolerate that. We take it as a threat,'" said Amy Sims, the boy's mother. "A threat? He didn't threaten anyone. He didn't do anything but play."
Amy Sims was not informed of the incident until her son was already in custody, FOX 26 reports. The mother states that because of her son's condition, he does not understand that "make believe" gunplay on school grounds has become a sensitive matter.
"Being put in handcuffs, not knowing what he did wrong, I could have had a talk with him and told him, 'Look, I know you like to play guns, but you can't do it in school,'" Amy Sims said.
David Sims was brought to a Juvenile Detention Center, where he remained for over two hours. Because of the boy's age and disability, it is likely that criminal charges can be avoided, according to Montgomery County Attorney J.D. Lambright.
"We want to get them turned around and on the right path," Lambright said, as reported by FOX 26.
According to Lambright, Sims reportedly made a verbal threat before brandishing the imaginary rifle, and this has allegedly happened in class before. According to Lambright, this latest incident at Bozman Intermediate School is but the most recent in a slew of concerning outbursts from students in schools from all around his jurisdiction.
"Right after the Florida incident we were getting two a day, three a day and it wasn't isolated to any particular school," Lambright said. "We have six school districts in Montgomery County and they were coming in across the country."
The Conroe Independent School District refused to comment on specifics about the arrest of David Sims, FOX 26 reports. However, the school district did provide a statement to FOX 26 saying, "Situations involving students with special needs are responded to consideration for each unique need."
Amy Sims disagrees — she feels her son is being discriminated against.
"Because he's disabled," she said, "they automatically think he's got something mental, so he might go shoot up a school."
The Sims family told FOX 26 that Conroe ISD informed them that for the rest of the spring semester, David Sims is required to attend an alternative disciplinary school.