Silenced by school board, teen with autism finishes speech for Fox 5
By DAN BOWENS, @danbowensfox5
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -
Christian Ranieri said he worked three hours on this speech. The 14-year-old high school freshman from Long Island has a form of high-functioning autism. But when he recently went to a school board meeting in Northport to read his words, he was cut off after just one minute.
He had gone to the school board to protest a recent two-day suspension and disciplinary action from the high school. He was frustrated because he didn't think administrators were properly implementing his individualized education program. So he went to the board to tell his side of the story.
The board president made him stop and said those issues can't be discussed in a public forum. The school board told Fox 5 the board applauds Christian's courage but said a disciplinary issue could not be discussed in public.
Christian's parents said he couldn't speak at all as a child. They said Christian didn't want a discussion; he just wanted to be heard.
Christian, who is also an advocate for other children with autism, didn't finish the speech at the meeting. But he did it for Fox 5.