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Girl With Special Needs Bound With Duct Tape


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A community is outraged after an 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome was sent home from school with her feet and ankles duct taped.

Shaylyn Searcy’s parents say that when she arrived at her Indianapolis-area home Monday afternoon, her feet were bound so tightly that she could not walk off the school bus independently. It took 30 minutes to remove the industrial duct tape and material from her socks and shoes came off with the adhesive, the family says. The girl’s ankles remain bruised from the incident.

Though Searcy does have a history of refusing to put her shoes on, the girl’s mother says that she has been able to convince her daughter to do so over the telephone when teachers have called about the problem in the past.

The circumstances surrounding the incident Monday remain unclear with the school district investigating. Local child services officials have also been alerted.

Searcy’s parents indicate that she will not be returning to the school.

Advocates say Searcy’s experience highlights the need for regulations governing the use of restraints with children who have disabilities, reports the Indianapolis Star. To read more click here.

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Comments (12 Responses)

  1. Glenny says:

    As the parent of a baby with ds this school is lucky they are on the other side of the world to me as I would be marching straight in there and having more than a few words to say! Discusting!

  2. Linda Snell says:

    This is outrageous, the people involved should be seriously disciplined if not prosecuted. To do this to a child who has Down Syndrome is just awful. I have worked with people with developmental disabilities for over 30 years and cannot believe that this type of treatment still happens. My heart goes out to the family and that lovely little girl. Anything I can do to help please contact me: Linda Snell Director of Family Support Services, STAR Inc. Contact info Office 203-354-0142

  3. annie says:

    Wow…. This kind of things is my worst nightmare. I sincerely hope that these individuals are fired at the very least, and I’m sorry that this little girl had to endure this atrocity, and now has to interrupt her life and her education while it gets investigated.

  4. Cindy Barclay says:

    I am outraged. I hope they investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent! My daughter is 12 (and has ds) and if anyone touches her- – – – I will be her advocate & voice in the strongest sense of the word.

  5. Holly says:

    Again with the schools. Saying this there are alot of people that have issue with shoes. Sometimes just not using socks works. Sometimes just use flip flops. But the schools should know this but they don’t because they can do anything they want with no intervention from any cps or any kind of child advacate. Again where are the advacates that are supposed to oversee and intervene.

  6. Heidi says:

    My daughter is autistic and after recording the poor and often abusive behavior of two of her teachers (both special ed teachers with small classes) I went to the principal . He did nothing. These teachers were being verbally and emotionally abusive to my daughter. Until I hired an attorney, the school system was not going to do anything. Now she is with new teachers and has a new assistant – and amazingly she is now doing her work and happy to go to school!
    Parents must advocate and fight for their kids – unfortunately, “the system” does little or nothing to take care of these special children. Many times they are the target of teacher bullying because teachers feel that they can get away with it due to the child’s disability.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    We need to change the laws in this country that teachers and school professionals can be charged with child abuse by social services, with the same level of determination that they do with parents. If the mom had sent the child to school like that Child Protective Services would have removed the child from the home! Teachers and school personal that do it should be removed automatically from schools and charged.

  8. Marcy says:

    To do such a thing to a special needs child is totally unacceptable. Especially when in the past intervention by the parent worked. I am severely physically disabled and work with children and adults with developmental and behavioral challenges. I would never have even thought of such a terrible thing to do to a child. It would only prove to make her have more issues with putting on her shoes. I as a parent would not subject my child to the same school unless the perpetrator of the incident was found and fired for such an act..I hope they can find a place for their child that is more understanding and works with them not in their own cruel way.

  9. Jon K. Evans says:

    What I find so weird is, is that the legal experts and the ACLU are obsessed with protecting the Constitutional Rights of the El-Rukns, the Vice Lords, the Gangster Disciples, the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazis, and other gropus that pride themselves on infringing on the Constitutional Rights of innocent persons. Yet, institutions and entities think NOTHING of violating this Down’s Syndrome victim. If I am NOT mistaken, THE 8TH AMENDMENT is supposed to protect this Down’s Syndrome sufferer from CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT-such as this!

  10. Claire Watson says:

    Sadly, our children with disabilities remain vulnerable to these types of abuse. Yes, their behavior may be exasperating at times, (like many other kids’), and more traditional means of working with their behaviors may not always work. What frightens me as the parent of a child with Down syndrome is that our children can’t always tell us what is happening to them at school. ALL teachers will be expected to deal with children with a variety of special needs and MUST be trained to do so without resorting to this shockingly abusive behavior.

  11. De says:

    Children with DS frequently have sensory issues and my own child went through this ‘phase” of not wanting shoes on. It can be handled in so many POSITIVE ways…this notion of WHOSE THE BOSS must STOP!
    You will never get anywhere with a child by forcing authority, especially a child with DS.
    Time to re-train these fools in the classroom.

  12. Patricia Chandler says:

    My only question is: how do these “teachers” get hired in the first place??? Particularly Special Education Teachers??? This is pure insanity.

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