Do autistic children need to wear shoes?
What if the kid doesn't want to wear them, what then?
Should we — as the responsible adults — strap them down and force their little autistic feet into a pair of brogans?
These are just some of the questions confronting the Ventura Unified School District in the face of allegations that a pair of teachers forced an autistic girl to don footwear against her will.
According to a Ventura County lawsuit, first reported by Courthouse News Service, Ella Cummings is an autistic student who “feels more comfortable in social settings when she removes her shoes.”
Two of her teachers, however, apparently felt that Cummings really did need to wear her shoes and asked that she do so.
But Cummings refused.
That's when, according to the lawsuit, the two school employees “proceeded to physically pin down [Cummings] using their own body weight, causing bodily injury.”
Cummings and her family are suing the school district for assault and battery and false imprisonment. They claim that the school district knew Cummings needed special treatment and that the two teachers had no experience or training taking care of special needs children.
But seriously, it's Ventura, it's southern California … who needs shoes?