Sage Rollins, a 10-year-old boy with autism at Ronald Reagan Elementary School in Wildomar, Calif., told his mother his teacher made him sit in a cardboard box when she grew angry with him in class, the Los Angeles Times reports. Before the box, the teacher would make Rollins sit in a supply closet.
While the boy's mother, Kim Rollins, told the Times she was outraged and cried when her son told her of the practice, school principal Nori Chandler told the Riverside County Sheriff's Department that the boy used to go into the closet when he needed "quiet time," and that the box was never meant to be used for punishment. From the Times:
The principal told the investigator that a district counselor provided a "decorated large cardboard box" for Sage that was placed in the back of the class, to provide a refuge for him when he had sensory overload ...
Although the sheriff's investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the teacher, Sabrina Beth MacFarlane, has been put on paid administrative leave, the Associated Press Reports.
Last year, a 9-year-old boy from Louisville, Ky., with autism who allegedly misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel bag by school employees. Sandra Baker, the boy's mother, claimed she found the boy wriggling in the bag while the teacher's aide observed.
"When I got him out of the bag, his poor little eyes were as big as half dollars and he was sweating," Baker said, according to the Associated Press. "I tried to talk to him and get his side of the reason they put him in there, and he said it was because he wouldn't do his work."
According to the report, Kentucky state officials investigated the incident.