8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger reportedly hit someone with his cane on the school bus.
North Kansas City School District Spokeswoman Michelle Cronk confirmed taking away Dakota’s cane, calling it school property that was given to him when he enrolled. They said they took it away after he reportedly hit someone with it and wanted to prevent him from hurting himself or others.
This is clearly a terrible idea for a punishment. But just in case you thought the punishment was not outrageous enough, the school has given Dakota a pool noodle as a replacement for the next two weeks. Dakota Nafzinger has Bilateral Anopthalmia, meaning he was born without eyes. Yay! You're showing him!
Dakota’s mother said he was written up for misbehaving on the bus, but she said she doesn’t understand why his punishment was to take away the thing he needs the most.
On Tuesday Dakota attended his sister’s concert with nothing but a pool noodle to guide him around.
“Can’t feel things,” he said.
As this got reported, the school, probably remembering that it doesn't look good to take a blind child's cane away from him, decided to apologize and give Dakota back his cane. There is something to learn from this. Our country believes in an archaic form of punishment as teaching tool. It isn't a big stretch to see that this type of thinking has been exhibited in our prison system as well where harsh, non-constructive-punishments are meted out all of the time. You couldn't write a better allegory—taking away someone's ability to see will not help them to see their mistake.