Teacher Kisses Adult Student Who Is Nonverbal, Autistic

2022-09-03 17:42:15 By : Ms. Cecilia Zhu

A viral TikTok shows a teacher repeatedly kissing an adult student—who is allegedly nonverbal and autistic—on the cheek and holding and hugging him. The video sparked debate among commenters, many of whom argued that the man could not consent to the teacher’s actions.

In the TikTok posted by Christina (@christinas_customs) on Aug. 22, a woman kisses a man on the cheek and hugs him many times. At one point, the man’s pants are unzipped. Christina identified the pair as a teacher and her adult student who is nonverbal and autistic.

It’s unclear in the video if the man is nonverbal, meaning doesn’t communicate at all, or nonspeaking, meaning he might communicate through writing or a communication device.

The TikToker calls the teacher’s interactions grooming and sexual assault.

Christina wrote in the video’s caption that her niece attends the same school for adults with special needs as the man in the video and that the video was posted by the teacher on TikTok.

“My niece went on her own and reported this to the principal and now the teacher in the video is giving her dirty looks,” Christina wrote in the video’s caption. “This video was very unsettling for me to watch.”

On Wednesday, Christina’s video had over 5 million views.

Many commenters on Christina’s video agreed with her reaction to the way the teacher was touching the student.

“100% thought it was just a couple playing around until I read the captions,” @jamiem4l commented. “I hope his parents were informed.”

“I hate to make a judgment strictly off a TikTok, but I can’t help the gut feeling,” @vettylou wrote. “Definitely doesn’t feel safe.”

Others weren’t as sure that the teacher was completely overriding the man’s inability to consent—but agreed that she shouldn’t be touching him in the way the video shows.

“It’s unacceptable as his teacher, but he LOVES her and HER affection,” @jassmineeeebaybeee wrote. “You can see that CLEARLY!”

“He does deserve love and connection and it does look like he’s consenting,” @aydebake commented. “BUTTT she’s his teacher and this shouldn’t be happening by her.”

Some commenters identified themselves as having people who are nonverbal and autistic in their lives and offered their own takes on the video.

“As a mother of a nonverbal son I have to say this is inappropriate,” @the..original..bae commented. “You can show him ‘he is loved’ in other ways. Kissing him over and over is not ok.”

“This bothers me in so many different ways,” @lovely_arlene wrote. “As a parent of a nonverbal child who’s 18. I’m scared now.”

“As a mom with an intellectually disabled daughter who’s also nonverbal, this just confirms my worries,” @erikaparedes3 commented.

Commenters urged Christina to at least report the video to the school. If the school is public, its teachers are governed by laws that private school teachers may not be—which don’t include specific state laws that pertain to public and/or private schools.

The Daily Dot reached out to Christina via Instagram direct message.

Tricia Crimmins is the IRL staff writer at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she has written for Mashable, Complex Networks, and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.

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