Faro school demands solution for “violent autistic pupil”

A school community in Faro is “frightened” about the violent behaviour of a 17-year-old pupil with autism, known to “insult, hit, kick and bite” fellow students, teachers and school workers.

The teen’s latest act of violence came this morning and Francisco Soares, the head of the Pinheiro e Rosa school group, told Lusa news agency that something has to be done.

“He has attacked one teacher and two school workers,” Soares said, explaining that “the school does not have the resources to help the pupil” nor can it “ensure the security of the school community”.

This is the second year that the autistic youngster has attended the school. His violent outbursts have often been serious enough for victims to need medical assistance. A school worker is still on leave from one of his attacks, which is a “serious problem” at a school that is already “understaffed”.

“Workers ask not to interact with this pupil, who also scares teachers and other students,” Soares said, explaining that his “violent demeanor” and “strong physique” make him “dangerous, both to himself and the school community”.

A solution has been requested from the Ministry of Education, but the entity denied any knowledge of the case when contacted by Lusa.

“There are written exchanges, they can’t say they don’t know about this,” the head of the school group said.

He claims that the feedback from the Ministry has been that the solution is for the pupil to continue studying until he turns 18, even though “clinical indications suggest he should be attending a full-time activity centre for the disabled”.

It is reported that the youngster has the mental ability of a “four or five-year-old” and cannot complete most of his school tasks even though he is part of the school’s special needs programme.

He is under medication and accompanied once a week by a psychologist, according to Lusa.

The Pinheiro e Rosa school group is the largest in Faro, with nine schools and 105 special needs pupils.

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