Student Put In Bad Kid Box; Autistic Boy Humiliated In Shocking Punishment
A high school student with Asperger's syndrome was put in a "bad kid box" as part of a punishment from his history teacher. Beth Dean and Jeff Richards say their son, Caleb, was put in the "bad kid's box" by his teacher for 15 minutes while the teacher wrote "Bad Kid Fort" in front of the entire class. The student was put in the "bad kids box" because, his parents claim, he was not trained properly to deal with Caleb's unruly behavior.
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"Instead of sending him out of the room or any other myriad of options, she fashioned a large cardboard box and placed the box around his seat, completely enclosing him, in front of 30 of his peers," Dean told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
She said that putting a student in a "bad kids box" is not the correct way to handle someone with Caleb's condition, which is typically treated with a combination of medication, Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and behavior plans.
"Placed in cardboard box was not one of those steps," she said.
The incident happened last month, but Dean said she didn't believe her son until she saw the pictures students put up of the "bad kids box" on Facebook. She has since met with school officials, but told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel the talks were unproductive. "No one seemed to think it was a big deal," Dean said. Now, she's involving child protective services, and has a meeting scheduled with Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law and Parkersburg High School Principal Pam Goots.
Goots told the paper she spoke with students who witnessed the student being put in the "bad kids box" and concluded that the punishment was not meant to embarrass Caleb.
"I don't think there was malice or the intent to embarrass the student," Goots said. "She was attempting to deal with a difficult situation in class. We put teachers in these situations where they have not had a lot of training. She was doing the best with the skill set she had."
Fortunately, Caleb has not undergone any sort of psychological trauma as a result of being the student put in the "bad kids box." According to Dean, he didn't try to miss any school because of the incident and, other than insisting that it actually happened, didn't even complain about it. She hopes her meetings with school officials result in some sort of accountability measures for situations like this should they arise in the future, but on the whole she is relieved that her son went through the "bad kids box" punishment without incident.
"I thank God my son was able to handle this," she said.
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