I wish I could just shout about how NO Child should be Left Behind in an abusive situation. I understand, of course, that when we pulled Elf from the public school, that we were leaving other children behind. There are other children going through what Elf went though and much, much worse. I know I can't save them all, but it makes me want to cry.
It makes me want to DO something about it. So I write. I hope you're reading.
Contrary to celebrity yapping on tv today, abuse is not inadequate teaching of Darwinism in private homes. Abuse, REAL and SERIOUS abuse, can happen at home or, as this blog post will discuss, at school. Abuse happens when children are locked in closets, slapped, strapped to chairs, belittled before peers and not having their educational needs met by the people who are paid by the taxpayers to do so.
"The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) today released a report asking Congress to stop the use of restraints, seclusion, and aversives upon children with disabilities in school. The report entitled, Unsafe In The Schoolhouse: Abuse Of Children With Disabilities, details 143 incidents of the use of abusive interventions against children with disabilities in school. The report also includes suggested legislative remedies." (Excerpt of a press release, found on Missouri: Families Against Seclusion and Restraint blog, though I added the link in the middle of the quote.)
Of particular concern is the fact that many of these documented incidents occurred in young children:
"The relative ages of the children can also underscore the imbalance that occurs
in schools between larger, older adults and young children. Approximately
86% of the children were under age 14. Of course, mistreating older teenagers
is as wrong as mistreating preschoolers. Abusive techniques should never be
used with any child or person with a disability--no matter how old they may be.
People with disabilities are often at special risk of abuse. This is particularly
true of children and teens with cognitive, developmental, emotional, and
If I may...
It's much easier to bully a tiny kid than it is a huge hulking teen. I'll bet you most of these teachers didn't start out their day with, "I think today I'll pick on a little kid and strap her to a chair. That would be fun!" But I will say that during the course of "difficult interactions," the staff is going to think twice before sending my 6 ft. 1 inch kid to a closet. First off, they're going to have quite the physical fight on their hands if they try to make him do something against his will. Second, my son can not only speak, but he can remember faces and names. I'm not going to say he's completely safe. I'm just going to say that it's a lot less likely for G to be placed in a potentially abusive situation than a small six-year-old.
Wouldn't YOU be more likely to "talk out" problems with this great big kid than try to physically force him into a chair or closet? Right now, the staff is working well with G, and most of my concern is for the other families out there. What would happen to families like ours if things fell apart at school?
I hope that Congress listens to what the report says. As much as I believe in local control of schools, I also believe that a child's civil rights are violated every time something like this is practiced. It's time that we protected all of our citizens. These children cannot advocate for themselves.