Mercer County schools under fire after child left in bag - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mercer County schools under fire after mom says child left in bag

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MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -- A young Kentucky boy and his mother have become the center of a national petition after -- she says -- a school employee put her son in a bag.

Sandra Baker says the 9-year-old, who has autism, was placed in the bag as punishment for acting out at school in Mercer County. Since then, hundreds of people from across the country have signed a petition to help the family.

Nine-year-old Chris Baker didn't want to talk much about the accident.

His mom, Sandra Baker, says last week she was called to the Mercer County Intermediate School where Chris is enrolled in a program specifically for special needs. She says she was told Chris had been misbehaving.

"When I walked in, I went down his hallway, and I saw this big green bag laying in the floor beside the aide that was sitting beside the bag," she said. "And I saw it moving."

Baker says teachers explained that Chris was confined to the bag as punishment.

"It was a drawstring at the top and it had a hole about this big around left in the top of it," (she made a motion with her hands.) "There was no way he could get out of it, could not get his head through if he needed to."

"I got in the green bag," Chris Baker explained.

"What if he had gotten sick inside there and aspirated from his vomit or whatever?" Sandra asked.

Baker says another fear she had was what would happen in the event of a fire if teachers had trouble untying the drawstring.

"The comment I got on that was, well, we would have drug the bag out of the school. Okay. It's okay. Just drag my son down some steps and break his bones." he said.

In a news release, Mercer County Schools Interim Superintendent Dennis Davis said, "Upon learning of the allegations, the school system reviewed the incident immediately, and the matter is being handled consistently with School District policies and with State and Federal law."

Debra White, Chris's grandmother, is also angry.

"How would they feel if they were put in that bag, or their kids?" she asked. "It ain't right."

She's not alone. An online petition to dismiss teachers involved or require them to complete additional training has drawn widespread support. Baker says she's grateful for the encouragement.

"I'm doing it because I want other parents to know that this is going on in the school system," Sandra Baker said. "And they may not even be aware that their child is being done this way."

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