Horrific Consequences for Autistic Child Should Upset Us All

autistic child abused at schoolDoesn't one have to go to school to learn how to work with children who are special needs? Maybe participate in some training? Or can any yahoo off the street become a special education teacher? It seems that may be the case in Kentucky, where an autistic child was shoved into a ball bag as "discipline." Yep, get ready to get super, duper enraged, parents. Especially if you're a parent to a child with special needs, but even if you just have a sane way of looking at the world and empathy for your fellow man.

Because a teacher put a 9-year-old child into a bag used to hold soccer balls, basketballs, footballs -- anything except a 9-year-old child.

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When Sandra Baker showed up to her son's school after being phoned to pick up Christopher, she arrived to find that Christopher had been shoved into a ball bag and was, naturally, quite agitated. When Baker demanded to know what was going on, the special education teacher admitted that they used the bag as discipline for Christopher.

If I had a special needs child in this Mercer County school, I'd be up there right now trying to find if my kid had spent any time in the bag as well. And demanding some re-training or firing of the person who thought it was a good idea to trap a kid inside a bag.

I'm sure being a special education teacher is beyond trying. That's why we should have admiration and empathy for people in these challenging positions. But resorting to, what could be described as abuse, is never okay. The negative effect on Christopher will reach far beyond the immediate, which was bad enough. Christopher's mom said he went straight to his room when she brought him home, did not come out all night, and would not communicate with anyone. Yeah, that's helpful to a special needs kid.

Hopefully the school will get to the bottom of this crazy situation and Christopher (and any other kids who were victims here) will recover with minimal damage.

What do you think should happen to this teacher?

 

Image via Dave Center/Flickr

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