Parents furious after 8-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome has shoes duct-taped to her feet


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The Independent US

An Indiana couple were stunned this week after their 8-year-old girl was sent home from her special-needs class with her shoes duct-taped to her feet and ankles.

Nate and Elizabeth Searcy’s daughter, Shaylyn, who has Downs Syndrome, had her shoes duct-taped so tightly to her feet that she could barely walk.

According to local newspaper reports, Shaylyn's parents were outraged after discovering that someone had bound her shoes to her feet and ankles in a classroom at Westlake Elementary School in Wayne Township.

Reports claim the tape was so tight on her ankles that she was unable to walk down the aisle of the school bus, and had to be carried off the vehicle.

Elizabeth Searcy made the discover when she called for her daughter to get off the bus: "She said, 'I can't. It hurts.' So we had to carry her off the bus," Searcy said. "She had duct tape all the way from her feet up around the tops of her ankles. And it was industrial duct tape. It literally pulled fabric off her socks and vinyl off her shoes, it was so strong."

Mrs Searcy has speculated that her daughter may have refused to wear shoes, prompting someone to tape them to her feet.

"They have called me about it before" Searcy said. "I don't know why they couldn't have called me again this time," she told the Indianapolis Star.

Indiana is one of 20 states in the US that doesn't have laws regarding the use of retraints or unnecessary force against children with disabilities.