A young man with autism is overwhelmed in the classroom. He hides under the desk to try to regroup his thoughts/take a sensory break. He might be weird, but he is not hurting anyone and given a little time, he'll crawl out and be ready to do his next activity.
But that is not good enough. The teacher demands all children are seated, face-forward and ready to do the next thing NOW. So the para drags the kid when he refuses to get out that very instant. He is left with rug burns and the family and school now likely have an adversarial relationship.
It's a story that is all too familiar to me and other parents like me who have autistic children. In our case, Elf never got rug burns, but he was locked in a closet by staff for his "bad choices." My husband and I got into a great deal of conflict over whether Elf could homeschool. I had a great deal of conflict with the school, made worse by the fact that I could not just tell the staff that I was taking my kid out right then and they could screw themselves.
It was a hard, hard time.
I don't know what I'm trying to accomplish by blogging about this sort of thing yet again. Maybe I am trying to help people realize that this is really real, it really happens, and it really happens to real children. And things need to change. We need to get to the point where "What is wrong with that teacher?" is the first question asked and "What did the kid do to deserve that punishment?" never comes up.
Because unless there is a loaded gun involved, no kid deserves such harsh treatment.