York County mother home schools son with autism after several suspensions

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CONEWAGO TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. --  After numerous school suspensions of her 10-year-old son with autism, a York County mother says she's forced to take her child's education into her own hands.

There are some things she's not willing to give up to send him back to school.

Lori Roelke said she just wants to be treated fairly as a parent, as her son is as a student at Spring Forge Intermediate in the Northeastern School District in York County.

Bill Roelke III, 10, likes school except currently he isn't studying in a classroom, but his living room.

"I am not sending him back. We've done three to four out-of-school suspensions, him being locked in the room for hours, not learning anything. I've called to school everyday to either come pick him up, or try to calm him down," Roelke said.

"Little Bill," as his family calls him, is autistic.

"And he has 12 other diagnoses, from ADHD, OCD, ADD. He has problems with his heart. He has absent seizures. The school can not handle him," Roelke said.

Its why 'Little Bill' is having a difficult time at school.

Bill Roelke said "when I explode, I can't speak, and it's hard."

Bill's mother said the suspensions aren't helping her son.

"He's a natural boy, and he's very smart. He can figure out if I do this, they're going to call mom, and I get to go home," Roelke said.

Roelke says the school district gave her the option of sending her son to another school that would be better suited for his special needs, but she says she'd have to give up more than her son's IEP (Individualized Education Program).

"As much as we want to send him, and as much as he wants to go, we are not signing our rights away," Roelke said.

"The right to go after the school district. I have the right to sue them. I have the right to say, 'no this isn't the way it should be, let's change it, let's work something else out.' They're taking all that away from us," Roelke said.

FOX 43 News reached out to school officials who said they could not comment on this specific case.