School takes cane from blind boy as punishment for misbehavior

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When 8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger, who is blind, got off the bus Monday, his walking cane had been replaced by a noodle.

His mother says it was taken to "humiliate" him after he acted up.

A representative of the North Kansas City School District said that the cane is property of the district that was given to him during enrollment, and it was taken away when he hit another student with it. She said a pool noodle was given as a substitute because he needed something to fidget with.

Dakota has Bilateral Anopthalmia, which means that he was born without eyes. He said that the pool noodle was very difficult to use, and his mom, Rachel Nafzinger, said that taking away the cane was like taking away his eyes.

"He's gone through so much in his life already, 8 years, 8 years, and I just don't like someone else putting my son in that position," she said.

Dakota's original punishment was to keep the pool noodle for two weeks. On Wednesday, the district made a visit to the Nafzingers' home to apologize and returned the cane.

It then released an apology that, according to WDAF, read in part,

    "The District has reviewed the situation. We regret that a mistake was made in making sure the student was in possession of his cane when he boarded the bus Monday evening.

    The District has apologized to the family and is working to rectify the situation."

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