(ATCHISON, Ks.) A father is walking from Wichita, Ks. to Milwaukee, Ws. to raise awareness for an incident that occurred at school with his son.
Michael Swapsy Sr., the father of an eight-year-old boy who has ADHD and other special needs including anxiety, is fighting for social justice for his son, Michael Jr.
In late February, Michael Jr. was put into handcuffs by a school police officer and then had a bag placed over his head as a form of discipline at Explorer Elementary School in Goddard, Ks. The incident began as a teacher put a timer in his face to finish a project which triggered his anxiety.
"Who does that to an eight-year-old?" said Swapsy Sr. "Who in this country handcuffs, ties their hands, and puts a spit mask over an eight-year-old boy?"
After talking with administrators at the school about how they discipline students with disruptive behavior like his son's, Swapsy Sr. decided to take further action.
Michael Swapsy Sr. walked over 140 miles on foot to the State Capitol from Wichita to speak with Governor Laura Kelly. Gov. Kelly talked with the school board, but no further action has been made to bring change for the future.
Swapsy Sr.'s new mission is to walk on foot to Milwaukee to arrive just in time for the Democratic National Convention which is set to begin Monday, August 14. The almost 600-mile walk will last about 37 days, and Michael is wanting to seek attention from the top influencers at the convention hoping they can help make a change.
The goal is to bring national attention to what happened to Swapsy's son. And by the time he arrives in Milwaukee, he believes everyone will know his story.
"It's unacceptable," said Michael. "So I'm going to walk from here to the moon if I have to, to bring awareness of what happened to my son. If one other child besides my own son is saved from what happened to my son, then it's worth it. It's worth the walk."
The journey began on June 10. Michael is currently on day five and has passed the 200-mile mark. His next stop is St. Joseph, Mo.
Swapsy Sr. plans to homeschool his son this upcoming year.