Monday, December 22, 2014

The Blind Bleeding The Blind

In this case, it's the morally blind depriving the physically blind, a child no less, of his one compensation that allows him to function in the world. Via Kos again, we have WDAF TV Kansas City (yes, damn it, it's Fox):
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two North Kansas City parents are outraged after they say their blind son’s cane was taken away from him at school by a bus driver.

Eight-year-old Dakota Nafzinger attends Gracemor Elementary School. Rachel Nafzinger said school staff took away her son’s cane as punishment for bad behavior on the bus and then gave him a swimming pool noodle to use as a substitute.

The school wouldn’t go on camera, but North Kansas City School District Spokeswoman Michelle Cronk confirmed taking away Dakota’s cane, calling it school property that was given to him when he enrolled. They said they took it away after he reportedly hit someone with it and wanted to prevent him from hurting himself or others.

His family said it was a way to humiliate him for misbehaving.

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."

I am not blind, and the good Dog willing, with today's meds, I needn't go blind the way my maternal grandmother did at an age slightly younger than I am right now. But I do walk with a cane most of the time, even around the house and especially out in public where the obstacles to safe passage are formidable even without hostile people exhibiting needless cruelty. And I am declaring emphatically right now: if you believe it is appropriate punishment, ever, to take someone's cane away, and you attempt to enforce your belief against me, I shall beat you senseless with it.

What part of the Eighth Amendment's "cruel and unusual punishments" do these butterfingers not understand?

For people too ignorant to distinguish I provide an illustration:
Walking Canes
NOT Walking Canes


  1. "-----and you attempt to enforce your belief against me, I shall beat you senseless with it." And I'm right behind you!

    1. Thanks, Michael. I'm not by nature a violent person, but deliberately depriving any kind of disabled person of his/her ability to function as well as possible in daily life just aggravates the bejezus out of me. There's just no justification for it; it's outright immoral to do what these people did to that kid.

  2. Blind canes are not like regular canes. They are white with a red tip to tell others that the person holding it is visually impaired. Most of them are about as big around as your little finger and fold into three or more segments. When in use, the canes are moved back and forth in front of the person to find obstacles that the person might stumble over. They are long, usually over 40 inches and light. A pool noodle is not rigid enough to enable the person to find obstacles or to know that the end is directly in front of them.

    If they don't want him to have the cane, they need to provide a guide because if the child is injured, it is their fault. Wake up and smell the lawsuit, fools.

    My younger brother uses one of these and taking away from him would result in severe physical injury to anyone in his path. Before the extent of his vision problems was diagnosed he regularly knocked over anyone less than 5-feet tall who walked in front of him. The cane is a warning to others that he can't see them. He has severe tunnel vision and is not a small person.

    1. Bryan, I'm aware of the special adaptations of canes for the blind; long ago I dated a functionally blind woman for a while. You are right, of course: my walking cane is for support and balance; a blind person's cane is for location of both self and obstacles. Both kinds of cane are essential for the people who use them. I depicted walking canes mainly because I found that cool picture of the handles... it looks a lot like a pile of early woodwind instruments!

      I faced a task today that required me both to stand up unsupported and to use both hands; after 30 minutes, not only was I in danger of falling over, I was unbelievably fatigued. I try to find alternative approaches to such tasks; next time, I'll do this one sitting on a folding chair. Kitchen work is not so bad; I can lean my belly against the edge of the counter while I work.

  3. School punishes blind child by taking away cane and replacing it with a pool noodle

    1. Enfant, it sounds as if the school district should have simply declined to comment: the comment they actually made just makes them appear to be total failures as human beings, real assholes as some of us might say. Perhaps they should take away the driver's bus and require him to deliver all kids to and from school, four at a time, in his own ordinary passenger car; that's the nearest thing I can think of to what he imposed on the blind boy.



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