When is using ‘you have Aspergers’ going too far? Punishment and crime

 

I don’t usually write blogs about things like this though I have not actually done a search to see if advocates have been screaming about this issue or not. I posted an article on Facebook recently about a teacher who blamed having Aspergers for sexually assaulting a student. The teacher still kept his job from the way the story read. Could it be the way the world is these days? Is it a new trend?

The punishment for doing something like this is usually be placed on a register of some sort and the loss of the position that puts you in contact with children. The teacher involved actually got censured and needed 12 months of therapy with support.

I am no expert, but I am beginning to wonder if using Aspergers as an excuse or even say you are autistic might mean you end up having a more lenient form of punishment instead of other people. In this case it seems saying you have something could get you off scot free and with the possibility of offending again. It would be a worrying trend if it really does happen more often.

The basis of the article seems to treat the perpetrator as the victim and groups in Australia like Bravehearts and other child abuse groups would be appalled at what has happened. I do not know what happens in New Zealand is any different though the article did seem to be buried within the newspaper and I found it by chance.

I will leave this open for other people to think about. I am just a little minnow in a sea of sharks. The elephant in the room might be something that needs discussing very sertiously. The link for the article is below.
Link
Teacher blames Aspergers for abuse
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11576374

 

One thought on “When is using ‘you have Aspergers’ going too far? Punishment and crime

  1. It is a sticky situation when someone brandishes the “disability” shield where criminal offense is concerned. While I am personally inclined to try to be understanding of anyone’s mental / emotional state, I feel there still ought to be a framework for boundaries, in order to keep everyone safe. In this case, the perpetrator is not a young person, he has been practicing as a teacher for many many years, it seems. Thus, he ought to know right from wrong – it is not necessary even to grasp the intricacies of “why is this wrong” but rather most importantly to just abide by the set laws that it is WRONG! I am sure this man knew at least the latter boundary, or he wouldn’t have been able to survive the daily challenges of teaching for decades. His ability to understand on an intellectual level is not impaired. That is all is needed, really, to stay within the law. Neurodiversity and/or disability is NOT a blithe excuse to do whatever one wishes in disregard for the law.

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