By Brian Carey – Yahoo News –
A North Kansas City school district has apologized after taking away a blind child’s cane and replacing it with a foam pool noodle.
Dakota Nafzinger, 8, had his cane taken away as punishment for bad behavior on the bus. The school allowed him to use a swimming pool noodle as a temporary replacement.
The school confirmed that it had confiscated the boy’s cane, saying the action was necessary because Dakota had reportedly hit somebody with it. School administrators wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t hurt anyone else or himself.
His family said that type of discipline is an act of humiliation.
“Why would you do that? Why would you take the one thing that he’s supposed to use all the time? That’s his eyes,” his mother said.
Kansas City School District spokeswoman Michelle Cronk said Dakota hit somebody with his cane while riding the bus. She also said that the pool noodle was given to him as a replacement because he fidgets and needed something to hold.
“They said they were going to give me this for the next two weeks,” Dakota said.
Dakota’s mother seemed to concede that some punishment is warranted, but taking away his cane is an excessive measure.
“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.
The day after having his cane taken away, he attended his sister’s concert with the pool noodle instead. It was an ineffective substitute.
“Can’t feel things,” he said.