CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 17 (UPI) -- A North Carolina mother says her disabled son was put in a cardboard box by one of his teachers as punishment for acting out in class.
Joy Amatuccio's son Jacob is mentally and physically disabled after a traumatic brain injury when he was a toddler, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., reported Wednesday.
Amatuccio said administrators at Hudson Middle School in Caldwell County created an individual education plan to help Jacob calm down when he has injury-related outbursts in class, but one teacher allegedly put him in a box as punishment for his outbursts.
"I was mortified," Amatuccio said. "I was absolutely mortified. I think I was in disbelief at first, like, 'Why would they put him in a box?' There must be another explanation for this."
Amatuccio said the school's principal removed the box from the classroom when he discovered it last month, but she didn't know about it until she got a photo from another parent this week.
"It's dignity. That's his dignity," Amatuccio said. "These are all his peers. People can walk by and see, there's a child in the box. 'Look at the disabled boy in a box.'"
The Caldwell County school district placed the teacher, whose name was not reported, on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, officials said.
"The Caldwell County School System would not allow a student to be in an isolated area or secluded area as a form of discipline," said Libby Brown with Caldwell County Schools. "This is not in adherence to school board policy or procedure in Caldwell County Schools."
Amatuccio said the principal apologized for the incident and Jacob was put in a different class for students with special needs for the remainder of the school year.
"When you think it is acceptable to put a child in a box, I don't think you should work with children. I think she's chosen the wrong career," Amatuccio said.