Help pardon autistic 11-year-old Kayleb Moon-Robinson

Photo Credit: Change.org
Photo courtesy of Change.org

It is estimated that 1 in 81 Black children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Boys are diagnosed at a rate five times higher than girls. Unfortunately, this also means that many Black boys are often disciplined more harshly than others with the disorder. Such is the case for Kayleb Moon-Robinson of Virginia who is being unjustly persecuted for his condition. Kayleb has been singled out in his school as a troubled youth even though he is only 11 years old and in the sixth grade.

His trouble began because he kicked a trash can one day in school and a school resource officer had him charged with disorderly conduct. Two weeks later Kayleb was told to wait while his fellow students left the classroom, which was a rule that was set up specifically for the young man. Instead, Kayleb disobeyed and tried to leave with his fellow classmates and friends. This is when the same school resource officer grabbed Kayleb to take him to the principal’s office. Kayleb allegedly pulled away from the officer and was slammed to the ground and handcuffed. The officer then charged the youngster with assault on a police officer and hit him with another charge of disorderly conduct.

Because of this incident, Kayleb was charged with felony assault on a police officer and was convicted by the court system. Now, like many Black youth he is in the juvenile justice system, his life forever changed by this minor incident. At the tender age of 11, Kayleb is now a juvenile felon, but he is not some hulking out of control kid. Kayleb is just a mild mannered small boy who wears glasses and was no threat to the adult who charged him with these crimes. Machinery has been set in motion that will follow Kayleb the rest of his life.

Now his family is reaching out for help using change.org to circulate a petition,”Pardon Kayleb: An autistic 6th grader unfairly convicted of a felony.” The petition is being sent to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to pardon Kayleb and clear his record. The goal is to reach 75,000 signatures and the family needs your help. To sign the petition and help this autistic child, go to change.org and sign the petition Pardon Kayleb: An autistic 6th grader unfairly convicted of a felony.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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