Autistic Student Kicked Out of School Over a Mistaken Hug & Kiss

college campusIf you were hugged and kissed on the top of your head by a stranger, would you report it as sexual assault? Twenty-year-old Brian Ferguson is autistic and he is banned from college for hugging a kissing a woman. Ferguson was taking special needs classes at Navarro College's Waxahachie Campus in Texas when he reportedly saw a woman he thought he knew in the hall. Ferguson, who is six foot five inches tall, hugged her and gave her a kiss on top of her head -- it's his way of saying hi. It turned out that the woman didn't know him and she reported the incident to school officials who have expelled him.

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This is a bit tricky to make a fully informed judgment because we didn't see the hug or the kiss. If this woman felt threatened, then she did the right thing by reporting the issue. However, maybe the case could be handled differently.

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As of now, Ferguson is suspended indefinitely. His mother, Staci Martin, said that the Dean told her that he son is "no longer welcome back." Ferguson is allowed to take classes at Waxahachie High School, but not on the Navarro campus. That makes me happy that he can continue his education. He has also publicly apologized to the woman he hugged and kissed on the head. Is this a case of being too sensitive? Or not accommodating inclusion? Perhaps once reported, the campus had no choice but to follow certain protocols. I hope this doesn't derail Ferguson's progress. And as always, a bit of kindness and understanding goes a long way.

Do you think Ferguson should be expelled?

 

Image via Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr

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