Nearly a year ago Today, A 13 year old Autistic boy named Max was killed by his teachers. who inhumanely restrained him for over two hours. And the injuries that resulted from this restraint were so severe that he had to be sent to the hospital And later died. Amazingly, the teachers responsible for Max’s death. One of them had still been teaching up until very recently! Teacher Charged In Death of Student Still Worked After Incident Male Reporter: Teacher charged in Max’s death was still teaching at another local school until this week. Female Reporter: CBS 13 Investigator Julie Watts is getting answers for us tonight on how that is even possible Julie: You know the State Dept of Education determined nearly a year ago now that the restraints used in Max’s Death violated state law, or prior to Max’s death rather, violated state law but The teacher now charged in his death is still credentialed by a different state agency. and has been legally allowed to continue teaching special education. Now Kimberly Wohlwend’s special ed and elementary teaching credentials don’t expire for more than a year and a half. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing shows no records of actions against her. The Agency says they can’t automatically revoke a teacher’s credentials without an invesigation unless the teacher has been convicted of certain crimes, is a sex offender, or found to be insane by a court. They say otherwise it’s up to the School Districts to keep credentialed teachers outta the classroom based on behavior that might be under investigation. As of today, Wohlwend is still listed on the School District website and they say she is still an employee of the district, though we’re told she has not has not been in the classroom for a couple of days. Now we asked the superintendent and the school board about their hiring practices How they background check teachers, and they did not respond to our questions. The Teacher Credentialing Commission says they confirm or deny wheter they are investigating this teacher at all, until the investigation is complete. Keep in Mind, The State’s investigation into the school, closing the school, that was nearly a year ago now! But, Kim(Wohlwend)’s name has not been widely known until now. Max, you didn’t do anything to deserve this. Autism is not the problem in this situation. Ignorance is the problem in this situation. and unfortunately, for people who have autism other people’s ignorance can mean the death of autistic people. You were failed by your teachers and your community, the very individuals who were supposed to protect you. I can’t imagine how your mother feels. Sending her precious child to school one day… Not knowing that she would never see you or be able to hug you or be able to tell you that she loved you ever again. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be a parent, and to place your trust in teachers only to have them betray you in the worst way imaginable… Max’s mom shared a beautiful video of her son that she wants you to see. She shared this video in an interview with The Aspergian A famous disability right’s blog. Max’s mom: What are you wearing? Max, enthusiastically: BAD GUY PANTS! [mom laughs joyfully in the background] Max: Bad guy pants! [Mom continues to giggle and laugh] Max: Bad guy pants, bad guy pants! Max: Bad guy pants! [repeats several times] [mom laughs] [two children say “bad guy pants” happily] Max: Bad guy pants [mom laughs heartily] [mom laughing while son is playing and dancing] The Aspergian: The Autistic Community is aware untimely deaths happen too often to our members. What’s more, many autistics who survive into adulthood through trauma, restraint, bullying, and social isolation never get to see their talents and dreams recognized. Often unmotivated by desires of wealth or fame, autistic people are driven to use their passions and unique insights to find a way to contribute to the greater good and make a positive difference in the world they’ve experienced as unwelcoming. Max Benson was inquisitive, bright, curious, thoughtful, funny, and full of life. In his neighborhood, he was known as “The Mayor”. His life was taken from him too early but the autistic community and our allies are not willing to let his light also be taken. We are going to fight to make sure Max’s light continues to shine, that his legacy will live on, to bring positive change to the world. #ShineOnMax -The Aspergian Team The International Coalition Against Restraint And Seclusion(ICARS) and Max Benson’s family will be holding a vigil on Sunday, November 17th 2019. In Remembrance of Max’s life and in honor of his vibrant spirit. A live vigil will be held at 2pm however we are asking all those who are not local where ever you are in the world to light a candle for Max on Sunday. And to post a picture of your candle on Social Media with the #ShineOnMax or you can use one of the candle graphics we will post here[on the Aspergian]. There is no need to post at a specific time. Just take a moment to light a candle and let Max’s family the autistic community, and the world know that you value Max’s light. We hope that on Sunday, November 17th Everyone can light a candle for Max and use #ShineOnMax. If for any reason lighting a candle is not ideal for you, images featuring candles will be available at the bottom of the this post and on ICARS the Aspergian Everyone is welcome to make their own images for #ShineOnMax. If you are an individual wanting to stay in the loop about how to keep children and adults with disabilities safe from dangerous restraints and seclusion or want to get involved please follow ICARS on Facebook or Twitter. Max’s family and mother would really like it if on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and other forms of social media you would use #ShineOnMax. I am also participating in the vigil. I’m going to light a candle. For Max [match stick crackling, candle makes a noise as it’s lit] [audible sigh] If you’d like to show solidarity for Max’s family please leave a comment below that is positive and supportive.I’m gonna make that Max’s Mother receives your supportive comments. Thank you.