Child with Down Syndrome sent home from school with shoes duct taped to legs

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Wayne Township parents made an awful discovery when they picked their child up from the bus stop Monday.

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 child, who has Down Syndrome, attends the Life Skills Program at Westlake Elementary School.

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.

It’s still not clear who applied the duct tape to the girl’s ankles.

“When she gets tired, she wants to get her shoes off,” said Nate Searcy. “I mean we’re home before she comes home from school so there’s no reason why they couldn’t call us. I just don’t know why it was any different this time.”

The girl’s father said he will not be sending his daughter back to Westlake Elementary School until he gets answers from the district about how this happened.

“Any parent would have a problem with it if their kid comes home and they have duct tape around their shoes and feet, it’s ridiculous,” Nate Searcy said.

Police are investigating the incident and have notified Child Protective Services.

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township spokesperson Mary Lang issued the following statement to Fox59 Tuesday morning:

“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.”

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