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Boy's shoes duct-taped to his feet

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Updated: 9/07/2013 12:06 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Brynn Hackett says her whole world revolves around her 4-year-old son Jacob.

Jacob is autistic, non-verbal, and a student at Southside Estates Elementary School. When he got off the bus Thursday afternoon, Hackett says she was shocked to see Jacob's shoes had been duct-taped to his feet.

She said, "As soon as I saw it, I just knew it wasn't right. And it broke my heart on so many levels."

She said she called the teacher and didn't get an answer right away. Then she called Action News. And we went to the school district looking for answers.

DCPS Spokeswoman Marsha Oliver told us, "When you contacted us, we contacted the principal. The principal did an investigation, did talk to the teacher. Understood very clearly that the teacher did not in any way seek to harm the child."

In fact, Oliver said the teacher was actually trying to help Jacob. She said the day before, he had gotten hurt when he took off his shoes and stepped on sand spurs while playing outside.

Oliver said, "It was certainly a very sincere effort and act to show care and concern."

Hackett said she would have preferred the teacher just take her son inside. She couldn't stand the sight of her son's feet being bound like that.

Hackett said, "It's just wrong. It shouldn't happen to any child."

Hackett says she's not sure if she'll be sending her son back to school here.

The school district said the principal at Southside Estates even called the Department of Children and Families to ask if taping the student's shoes to his feet in any way violated DCF standards and expectations. The principal was told no.
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