Wichita dad walking to Milwaukee on behalf of his son

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 11:42 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The father who walked 160 miles in June from Wichita to Topeka to meet with Gov. Laura Kelly has started a new journey.

He’s drawing attention to how his nine year old son was treated at school.

In February, Swapsy’s son was put in handcuffs and had a bag placed over his head as discipline at Explorer Elementary School in Goddard.

Friday morning Swapsy took off on foot for the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to continue sharing awareness of what happened with his son.

That’s how long Michael Swapsy says it will take him to walk to Wisconsin, ”about 37 days.”

“The whole purpose of me making this trip is to find justice for my son, that is the whole purpose of me making this trip and telling the whole world what they did to him in the Goddard School District,” Swapsy explained.

Swapsy says school staff and school police put his nine year old son Michael Jr., who has ADHD in handcuffs and a head covering when he acted up.

They said it was discipline, Michael said it went too far.

He set off on a 585-mile walk Friday morning from the Kansas Statehouse to draw attention to how schools continue to use restraint and seclusion.

“What it looks like getting justice for my son is walking these additional 37 days, to get the awareness and attention needed for what has transpired with Michael,” Swapsy said.

Swapsy says he was able to speak with Gov. Kelly in June, but he wants to spread his message wider.

“I need justice for son, I’m not going to get it here with the respect of Kansas, I’m just not going to get it guys, so I got to do what I got to do, or do what I need to do to get just for my son,” he said.

He says he realizes the coronavirus pandemic could change things at the Democratic National Convention.

“If there changes, if those things happen that’s okay as well too. By the time I get to Wisconsin, everyone will know what’s going on anyway,” Swapsy said.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for August 17th through the 20th in Milwaukee.

Swapsy says he plans to home-school his son moving forward, and he has a GoFund me page to assist with expenses.

As of Friday, the GoFund me account has received $14,329 of a $50,000 goal.

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