When a Washington state mother met her child at the neighborhood bus stop after school, she was horrified to see that he wasn’t wearing any pants and was sobbing as he got off the ride. She immediately ran to her traumatized child, demanding to know what happened, when she saw what was hanging down between his legs.
The parent, who asked to not be identified, called the boy’s school, Mint Valley Elementary in Longview, irate and looking for answers, since she couldn’t figure out through the boy’s tears exactly what happened. The mother was met with a sick excuse from administrators, who were shrouded in some secrecy about the deplorable treatment this small child received.
According to KOIN, this public school is no stranger to controversy, having come under fire in the past for isolating special needs kids in boxes. Now, this boy’s foster parent wants to know why his clothing was removed and why he was forced to wear a sagging, soiled diaper, along with nothing but a t-shirt. Well over the age for needing to wear Pampers, her son was sent back to class like this, after seemingly being punished for having a classroom accident, where he wet himself.
Rather than offering the boy a change of underpants and some loaner sweats, shorts, or anything they could find from the lost-and-found, they put an over-sized diaper on him that hung down to his knees. He was then sent back out to be embarrassed in front of all of his peers in school and on the bus. To make matters worse, he already feels he’s at a social disadvantage, having a slight learning disability and being shuffled into a new school with his latest foster family.
When questioned about the mistreatment, administrators couldn’t answer why he wasn’t given replacement pants, but district spokesperson Sandy Catt admitted that the school didn’t follow protocol. Teachers also partly blamed the child for not having an extra set of clothing on hand, even though the school didn’t make any attempt to call the parent to bring some. It was as if they were punishing the kid and/or simply being lazy.
“Typical protocol would be that the child would be cleaned up and outfitted with some sort of unisex loaner sweats or something like that,” Catt told KOIN 6 News. “That protocol was not followed, and from a district level we have investigated that.”
This admission didn’t make the foster mom feel any better. She is sad for this little boy, who has already endured enough in his young life, and this incident was disgustingly unnecessary. While the school says that they’re still trying to figure out what happened, the semantics don’t really matter, since the damage is already done.
It’s common sense that putting a boy in a diaper and sending him around other kids like this is humiliating and cruel. The first order of business should have been to call a parent to bring this child a change of clothes, if there weren’t any on hand. This type of public humiliation leaves lasting emotional scars on children. The person who thought this was okay better pay.