Autism Parenting

Parents Say Son with Asperger’s Syndrome Duct Taped to Seat by Bus Driver

When parents send their child off to school, they expect them to be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. This is especially true when you have a child with special needs. Unfortunately, a couple in Missouri is learning that it doesn’t always work out that way.

Two weeks ago, a mother from Johnson County learned that her 5-year-old son was restrained with duct tape by the bus driver and the school’s principal. This type of behavior is unacceptable when dealing with any child, but this particular child has Asperger’s. According to the mother, her son was restrained after having an outburst.

The mother reportedly learned of the incident from another parent who had witnessed it. She then called local law enforcement and reported it as child abuse. The sheriff’s office is still investigating the allegations.

Superintendent Jeff Blackford has refused to offer a statement about how the district is handling the allegation. He did give a generalized statement, however.

“We hold all our staff members to very high standards and we expect our staff to appropriately supervise and manage students at all times,” Blackford said.

While the mother remains anonymous, fellow members of the community have spoken out about the incident.

“I don’t know what I would have done,” said fellow parent and community member Shawn Holt. “I think there ought to be criminal charges involved, not only on the bus driver, but also on the school because they covered this up for at least a week.”

Another member of the community, Linda Lujan, has a 7-year-old son who also suffers from Asperger’s. Her son, Connor, claims that he has been threatened by the same bus driver.

“He told us that he started yelling and was kicking the seat and Mr. Mike (the bus driver) stated that if he didn’t shut his mouth, he was going to duct tape him,” Lujan said.

While Connor may have avoided the duct tape entirely, Lujan is no less angry that this driver has threatened her son and actually restrained another. She has a very strong message for the Chilhowee school district officials:

“Get off your butts and teach your staff how to deal with kids with disabilities.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

1 Comment

  • As a child I suffered the same treatment in fourth grade at the hands of a teacher, being duct taped to a seat in the classroom. Even though he was not aware that I had such a disability back then – as it was a very long time ago – this kind of treatment from anyone involved with working with our children is reprehensible. Please all those involved with teaching, instructing or mentoring our students, please become aware of the signs of disabilities and how to work with these children. Instead of isolating and restraining them because you can not deal with it.

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