Parents are seeking answers from a school that sent their 8-year-old with Down syndrome home with feet bound so tightly with duct tape that it cut off circulation to the point where she couldn’t even walk off the bus.
The parents of Shaylyn Searcy, who attends Westlake Elementary School in Wayne Township, Indiana, recalled their confusion to the Indianapolis Star when their daughter wouldn’t get off the bus because her socks were duct taped to her shoes:
“She said, ‘I can’t. It hurts.’ So we had to carry her off the bus,” said Elizabeth Searcy, 29.
“She had duct tape all the way from her feet up around the tops of her ankles. And it was industrial duct tape. It literally pulled fabric off her socks and vinyl off her shoes, it was so strong.”
Watch this report about the incident:
Elizabeth Searcy said her daughter sometimes has trouble leaving her shoes on, which might have prompted someone to tape them onto the child, but Searcy said, ”I don’t know why they couldn’t have called me again this time.”
The Star reported Shaylyn’s parents taking her back to school with the tape still on her feet to help get it off. It took 30 minutes and left bruises on the girl.
Here’s The Star’s video interview with Shaylyn’s parents:
The school released a statement to RTV6 that read:
“We have had the opportunity to meet with the parents of the student involved in this reported incident and have begun our own investigation. We have notified the Indiana Department of Child Services of the incident, and if warranted, we will file a report with the agency. We have also involved our own law enforcement officers in the investigation. When the investigation into this incident is concluded, we will take appropriate action.”
Kim Dodson, the director of the special-needs advocacy group Arc of Indiana, told The Star the situation is an “outage.” The organization is advocating for laws that would protect children like Shaylyn from abuse of “seclusion and restraint” policies.
In the mean time, Shaylyn’s parents have removed her from Westlake to send her to the school she attended last year, WTHR reported.
(H/T: News Net 5)