[Nfbmo] Fw: [Missouri Chat] Article in the Christian Science Monitir about the boy and his cane

Fredolver fredolver at gmail.com
Thu Dec 18 01:30:48 UTC 2014

I think each and every one of us but to call the person responsible in the north Kansas City school district and let them know just how we feel about this. This is probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever encountered in my lifetime and I certainly will not let it go without doing something about it for my part. Fred Olver

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 17, 2014, at 3:15 PM, Nancy Lynn via Nfbmo <nfbmo at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> from Nancy Lynn freespirit.stl at att.net
> -----Original Message----- From: Christopher Gray via Chat
> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 2:29 PM
> To: Missouri Chat
> Subject: [Missouri Chat] Article in the Christian Science Monitir about the boy and his cane
> Here is a more in-depth story.  The Monitor contacted Eridc Bridges at ACB and
> he did an excellent job representing the blind community.
> Chris
> Kansas City school punishes blind boy by replacing cane with pool noodle
> A Kansas City school punished a boy who was misusing his cane by taking it away,
> and replacing with a swimming pool noodle. The American Council of the Blind
> says such punishment is wrong.
> By
> Lisa Suhay , Correspondent author bio
> December 17, 2014
> School punishes blind child by taking away cane and replacing it with a pool
> noodle - YouTube
> The decision to punish a blind child by replacing his mobility cane with a
> swimming pool noodle is an “extra nasty step,” says a director at the
> American Council of the Blind.
> Dakota Nafzinger, age eight, is a student at
> Gracemor Elementary School in Kansas City. He was born without eyes,
> and relies on his white mobility cane for personal freedom and the ability to
> move freely about his environment, according to
> FOX 4 in Kansas City.
> North Kansas City Schools spokeswoman Michelle Cronk told the media that Dakota
> hit somebody with his cane while riding the bus and his punishment was to have
> his cane taken away and replaced with a foam pool noodle.
> Ms. Cronk also reportedly said that Dakota was given the pool noodle not as a
> replacement for a mobility device, but rather because he needed something to
> hold
> in order to avoid fidgeting. The school also reportedly said that it owned the
> cane and gave it to the boy at the beginning of the school year.
> 12-20school_standard_218x145 r-school
> 900_standard_218x145 ay-12-16
> In a statement released by Cronk Wednesday afternoon, the district reversed its
> earlier decision.
> 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. When we were made aware of the mistake, corrections were
> made. It is always the District’s policy when we become aware of situations like
> this, we thoroughly and immediately investigate to ensure a safe learning
> environment for all students.
> In a phone call Cronk, says: “We’ve been taking a lot of heat from the local
> community over this.”
> Eric Bridges, director of external relations and policy for the American Council
> of the Blind (ACB) says in a phone interview from his office in Arlington, Va.,
> that the act of taking a blind child’s cane from him as a form of punishment was
> absolutely wrong and something which impedes the child’s mobility.” “To do what
> this school did to this student is just beyond the pale,” says Mr. Bridges, who
> is blind himself. “If you want to punish a blind child then punish him the same
> way you punish a sighted child – detention, suspension, sitting on a bench in
> the hallway. What this school did was just an extra nasty step of demeaning the
> child, humiliating him and robbing him of his mobility.” Bridges adds that even
> if the school supplied a guide to constantly be by the boy’s side, the addition
> of the pool noodle adds a dimension of humiliation that is unacceptable. There’s
> already enough stigma that comes with the white cane,” Bridges added. A pool
> noodle? Because he fidgets? I honestly don’t know which is worse, taking his
> freedom of mobility or the total public humiliation.”
> Dakota’s father, Donald Nafzinger told the media that his son lifts his cane
> sometimes and the bus driver thought he was using it violently.
> “All around, he’s a good little guy, and he shouldn’t be treated the way he’s
> being treated,” Mr. Nafzinger said.
> Bridges adds, “It’s honestly very hard for me to get my mind around what it
> would take for an educated adult to come up with that punishment,” Bridges says
> in exasperation. “It’s almost as if another eight-year-old thought that one up.”
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