Education

Teacher Dresses Special Needs Child in a Trash Bag

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Teacher Puts Trash Bag on Child

A Chicago mom got a shocking surprise when she dropped by her special needs son’s classroom on the second day of school only to find him isolated from the other students, wearing a black garbage bag over his clothing like a poncho.

Nyesha Terry’s five-year-old son Lloyd Terry is non-verbal and epileptic, which often causes saliva to drop onto  his clothing. For that reason, the mother packs several changes of clothes and extra bibs for her son. Instead of changing Lloyd’s bib or clothes, the teacher opted to use a garbage bag.

The mother felt humiliated to she her child like this, and frustrated because the teacher knows that her son can’t verbalize what happens to him at school.

“He can’t come home and say ‘this happened at school today mommy,'” Terry told The Washington Post. “It was heartbreaking to see my child separated from the other students and wearing a trash bag.”

The next day Terry dropped by the school again and found Lloyd in identical circumstances as the day before: isolated and wearing a trash bag over his clothes. She could not believe she had just spoken with the teacher the day before and was witnessing the same thing for the second day in a row.

“I was definitely furious,” Terry said. “I just felt like at that point it had gotten to be too much. I felt really disrespected.”

The mom took her son to the school’s office just as he was though his teacher offered to take the trash bag off before she left the classroom. She took photos to document the incident as she filed her complaint, but received another shock when the administrators questioned if she was bothered by the “bag’s appearance.”

“I said, ‘It has nothing to do with how it looks!'” Terry recalled. “He could put the bag in his mouth, he could swallow part of it or he could suffocate because of the bag. He’s isolated and I’m concerned for his safety.”

It wasn’t until Terry and her son’s story started to receive local media coverage that the district officials tried to accommodate the upset mom by accompanying her on several school tours to find the a new school for her son.

The school district released the following statement to The Post:

Chicago Public Schools’ top priority is ensuring students are safe and comfortable in their learning environment. The teacher has been removed from the classroom while we conduct an investigation, and we will take all appropriate steps, including appropriate disciplinary actions.

Lloyd is now at  new school and his mom hopes it will be a much better fit for him.

“I hope when people hear my story they understand we need better programs for special needs children,” she said. “These children already feel as though they’re not a part of everyone else and I just really want all special needs kids to feel like they’re a part of the school environment.”

(Photo Credit: Washington Post)