Employees involved in duct taping student with special needs placed on leave

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The employees who were involved in duct taping the legs of a young girl with special needs have been placed on leave, said the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township.

The school district said they continue to investigate the incident and have spoken to the child’s family several times since Monday’s incident.

According to police documents, parents Nathaniel and Elizabeth Searcy claimed someone duct taped their 8-year-old daughter’s legs in order to teach her a lesson.

The young girl, who has Down Syndrome, attended the Life Skills Program at Westlake Elementary School.  She has since been relocated to another school in the district at the request of her parents.

“We’re in the process of really trying to figure out exactly what happened, exactly who was involved in it, and how they were involved, but there will be disciplinary action at the end of all this,” said Mary Lang, spokesperson for the school district.

The Searcys told police they knew something was wrong when they went to meet their daughter at the bus stop. They said the bus driver told them they needed to take a look at the little girl’s feet.  That is when they saw duct tape wrapped tightly around her ankles, strapping her shoes to her feet.

According to the police report, the father had to carry his daughter off the bus because he said she was unable to walk due to the tape being so tight. The report also stated the school had trouble getting their daughter to keep her shoes on in the past, but the school would typically call the child’s mother.

“We have to be somewhat careful about the information we release about the investigation but we certainly want the family to know it is underway, that we’re taking it extremely seriously, and we along with them are very appalled about what happened,” Lang said.

As the investigation continues, district officials said they are continuing their efforts to ensure educators understand techniques involved in nonviolent crisis intervention.  Officials said the school district already has ongoing training to help teachers practice safe and effective behavior management techniques, which is outlined in the district’s policy called “Use of Seclusion, Restraint, and Aversion with Students,” which has been in place since 2010.

“We offer training to our teachers who work with special needs students to help then understand what the best ways are to get students who are showing behavior problems to change those behaviors,” Lang said. “We do know the process in this behavior is not a process we would endorse.”

District administrators, the Indiana Department of Child Services and law enforcement are all involved in the investigation.

“What happened here was an aberration,” said Lang. “It’s something we certainly don’t condone.  It’ something we find appalling and it’s something we’re dealing with.”

34 comments

    • Sarah

      Your an idiot Rachel. Alisha is totally right. The bus driver did exactly what he should have. Obviously your not intelligent enough to comment this very sad and disturbing situation.

  • Pissed off Mother

    The school is allowed to abuse a child, but if the parents had done it the kid would have been taken away and place in foster care. Had 15 different charges placed against them… This is sicking!!!

  • paula

    I can't believe this report. It makes it sound like it is the parent's word against the school. The bus driver seen what they (the school ) done ! How can you make it sound this way. The school is so in the wrong for their actions and should be closed if this is how they treat special needs children. It is obvious they do not know how to handle their situations or needs. Maybe they just don't care. It really looks like they don't care. Otherwise, one would think they would have took the tape off of her feet before they let her go home. It is like they wanted to get caught at their wrong doings. Close them down !

  • Liz

    This is the same school my child goes to. She has type 1 diabetes. Her insulin pump stopped working in the morning and they didnt call me till it was time for her to get on the bus. They left her blood sugar over 450 the whole day. This could cause a child to go into a coma. They knew this and failed to call me the whole day. And then they(meaning the principal and nurse) got an atitude with me cause i went in and complained about it. They have not a clue what they r doing over there.

    • unowutopinionsrlike

      I would lodge a serious complaint against them for that. The nurse has all the kids medical information and should have known what to do. That endangered her life. Talk to an attorney.

  • "Thor"

    "The employees who were involved in duct taping the legs of a young girl with special needs have been placed on leave,"

    This means paid vacation, but there will be no job loss over this having the teachers union backing them up. Sorry, just the way it is.

    • Captain America

      Clearly you don't know how things work. PLENTY of teachers are fired for wrongful actions. So sorry… that is not the way it is.

  • Isabella's mom

    just remember that there are good and bad in every profession. Don't blame the entire school….it only involves the ones who actually did this and the leadership.

  • Brenda

    The sad thing is that the UNION teacher that did this to this child will be protected by the union,they could care less about the child.I promise you that the teachers who did this have already been talking with union attorneys.

    • Captain America

      What does union membership have to do with it? I'm sure this person will be fired, union or not. The teachers' union job is simply to make sure due process is followed. What is sad about that? Please don't make this awful, individual incident a political statement about union membership in general.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >their 8-year-old daughter’s legs in order to teach her a lesson.

    Really? How do they know this? Was this mentioned yesterday?

    Mark my words on two points:

    a) The parents will contact an attorney and seek a check from the school system in the form of a lawsuit.

    b) There *IS* more to this story than is being let out.

    and for the most part:

    c) I and a few others refuse to jerk our knee at this reporting. lol

  • sherr

    I can't believe this is the school my grandaughter… went too in kindergarten so glad my daughter took her out our prayers go out to the family it's a shame teachers or teacher would do this I think all the teachers who was with the little girl that day should be suspended!!!!

  • "Thor"

    First, there is always more to the story than the news gives out, always.
    Second, they should consult at least three attorneys, if for nothing else then to protect their child. We are not talking about a thug here, but a disabled little girl.

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      WTH? Is this the life, liberty, and justice 'thor" from WRTV or am imposter?

      >for nothing else then to protect their child.

      Protect the child from WHOM or WHAT?

      Are you an attorney?

      • "Thor"

        From tv6, yes/ attorney, no.

        Protect the child from these suposed professionals and the school. I think the parents need for justice to serve them concerning the life and liberty of their daughter.

        I answered all your questions, though the attorney thing may a been a jab.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        >Protect the child from these suposed professionals and the school.

        How exactly will a lawsuit and a check in the parent's hand solve that? The admins have removed those responsible.

        Thor! You're confusing me. Is this tongue-in-cheek humor or do you work for an attorney's office?

      • "Thor"

        "The admins have removed those responsible"

        They are on paid leave/ paid vacation and they will be back with the teachers union backing.How a suit solves that is cause and effect, and nothing gets an employer's attention more then loss of money. As a person who rents to others I know you understand that. Have a good day Drac.

  • TailgunnerCharlie

    This is also the same school that 2 years ago flew their US flag upside down for half a day and didn't notice until told and then had to wait for the admin person to go to the admin building up the road and retrieve the key!

  • Realabuse

    “What happened here was an aberration,” said Lang. “It’s something we certainly don’t condone. It’ something we find appalling and it’s something we’re dealing with.”

    But we have no problem strapping them to chairs or throwing them in our "Time-out Room".

    Come on Ms. Lang. This kind of thing goes on ALL OF THE TIME! You just got caught- plain and simple

  • amc

    this isnt right at all and we have to send our kids to school with everything that goes on and how teachers treat our kids and they acting like this isnt a big deal thats not right they should lose thier job and charges should be press agaist the teacher who did this and the parents should file a law suit

  • Miki

    Westlake is NOT a bad school. This is the actions of individuals and not everything that is done is known to the administration until it is reported. That is how it is everywhere. The administration HAS to be able to rely on its staff to conduct business in every operation, not just in a school system.
    IF the administration or management in every business gets involved in every day-to-day activitiy (OKA: micromanage) then the employees are of little use.
    Yes, this is appalling, but don't blame the school. Wayne Township has wonderful schools and fabulous caring faculty in those schools. My older children have graduated from Wayne and my smaller children are currently enrolled in that district. I have ALWAYS found caring, loving individuals when problems arise. The actions of a couple of individuals cannot be blamed on a whole school system.

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