The parents of an 8-year-old Missouri boy born with no eyes (Bilateral Anophthalmia) were surprised to find that the school took away his walking cane and replaced it with a pool noodle as a form of punishment after the kid allegedly hit another student with his stick on the bus.
Now his mother, Rachel Nafzinger, is speaking out about the “humiliating” punishment Dakota Nafzinger experienced, criticizing the North Kansas City School District for taking away her son’s “eyes.”
“He’s gone through so much in his life already, 8 years, 8 years, and I just don’t like someone else putting my son in that position,” she said.
A representative of the school district defended the action, saying that the cane was given to him when he enrolled in the school and is the property of the district. The pool noodle was given to Dakota as a substitute because “he needed something to fidget with.”
But the boy’s father disagrees that his son was misbehaving, adding that he sometimes raises his cane — a gesture that the bus driver may have misinterpreted as violent.
The school has since apologized.
Dakota’s original punishment was to keep the pool noodle for two weeks. On Wednesday, the district made a visit to the Nafzingers’ home to apologize and returned the cane.
It then released an apology that, according to WDAF, read in part,
“The District has reviewed the situation. We regret that a mistake was made in making sure the student was in possession of his cane when he boarded the bus Monday evening.
The District has apologized to the family and is working to rectify the situation.”
But the image of Dakota struggling to use a pool noodle to get around is pretty unforgivable, if you ask us.
Source: Global Grind