School Punishes Blind Child by Replacing His Cane with a Pool Noodle

An elementary school punished a blind child by taking away his cane and replacing it with a styrofoam pool noodle, and the student’s parents are predictably upset.

Fox 2 St. Louis reports that 8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger, who attends Gracemor Elementary School in Kansas City, was born with Bilateral Anopthalmia — a rare disease characterized by being born without eyes.

School District Spokeswoman Michelle Cronk told local news that Dakota hit another student with a cane while he was riding on the bus, prompting his unusual punishment. She explained that they replaced his cane with a pool noodle because he needed something to hold, as he fidgets without his cane.

“They said they were going to give me this for the next two weeks,” Dakota said.

Donald Nafzinger, Dakota’s father, said that his son was only lifting his cane when the bus driver mistook the movement as him using the cane violently. He claims the noodle was a way of humiliating Dakota for his supposed wrongdoing.

“All around, he’s a good little guy, and he shouldn’t be treated the way he’s being treated,” Donald Nafzinger said.