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Community protests the arrest, court hearing of 10-year-old boy with autism

A 10-year-old boy with autism who was arrested for allegedly attacking a teacher will be in court Thursday morning. (Photo: Luanne Haygood)

The community is rallying behind a 10-year-old boy with autism who is heading to court Thursday morning.

Student John Haygood was arrested in April by Okeechobee County School Resource officers after allegedly punching and kicking his teacher at the Okeechobee Achievement Academy in 2016.

Since the incident, Haygood has been home schooled.

Video captured by his mother, Luanne, shows him being arrested at the school when he arrived for mandatory testing.

Authorities say he will be arraigned at the Okeechobee Courthouse, where supporters plan to follow.

A rally has been planned for 7:15 a.m. outside of the courthouse at Flagler Park. Rally organizers say they want the state's attorney to drop all charges against the elementary student.

Haygood's mother says this never would have happened if there were proper schooling services to address his disability.

Authorities say the boy spent one night in a juvenile detention center before a judge placed him on house arrest.

Haygood's arraignment is scheduled for 8:45 a.m.

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