Missouri lawmaker faults district after autistic boy beaten

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri lawmaker is criticizing a suburban Kansas City school district after a student with Asperger’s syndrome was beaten so severely that he was hospitalized.

State Sen. Eric Schmitt said Thursday that the school’s handling of the Feb. 19 attack on 12-year-old Blake Kitchen of Liberty was “inexcusable.” Schmitt said he plans to take the lead in ushering an anti-bullying bill through the state Senate. A spokeswoman for Children’s Mercy Hospital says the boy spent four days there and was released Monday. Blake’s mother says the boy’s injuries include a cracked skull and a fractured jaw.

Liberty school district superintendent Jeremy Tucker says the situation is under investigation and the district is cooperating with law enforcement. He says the district has policies addressing hazing, bullying and student discipline.

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Information from: WDAF-TV

By SUMMER BALLENTINE and HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH, Associated Press