16 January 2009

Restraint and Seclusion Should Be Banned in Public Schools.

Except in very rare, isolated and EXTREME instances, this practice needs to end in all public schools. There needs to be accountability and parents should always be informed. Thank you, Senator Dodd, for your speech on this issue. Hat tip: Missouri Families Against Seclusion and Restraint blog. Ordinarily, I'd say the federal government needs to stay OUT of public education, but this is a civil rights issue. How many people are griping today that the government got involved to break up state-run segregation in public schools 50 years ago? Someday, I think we will look back on these times as the "bad old days" when so little was known or understood about how to truly help those with developmental disorders and/or autism. Hey, if you want to run your own school with your own money, go ahead and keep black people, Christians, autistic people or whoever you want out. (Not that I'd want to go to your stinky school anyway...) But my tax money shouldn't be used to lock my children up AND defend the abusers who practice this in court. I'm going to voice a disagreement with one idea in this speech: most people who pull this crap are NOT GOOD PEOPLE who just don't know what to do. They are abusers. They should not keep their jobs, let alone receive "training" on the public's dime.


  1. I'm going to voice a disagreement with one idea in this speech: most people who pull this crap are NOT GOOD PEOPLE who just don't know what to do. They are abusers. They should not keep their jobs, let alone receive "training" on the public's dime.

    Amen sister! Say it loud & say it proud!


  2. I'm glad you left open the possibility of using 'safe' rooms in very rare and extreme circumstances. Obviously, no person should be locked up - unsupervised - and left for hours. I used to work at a school for young autistic adults who could become seriously dangerous and violent at times and was trained in when safe rooms are appropriate. This was a while ago, but I remember that the entire emphasis was on calming the teenager in a safe, calm, quiet place - not locking the door and leaving him there all day!

    I'm with you about the "not good people." Obviously, it takes minimal effort to toss a kid in a locked room. Re-orienting, after all, takes effort...


  3. Thanks, Anna!

    And A, I went through so much with Elf that I *KNOW* that while yes, he had "problem behaviours," the school in the long run was just saving money by not getting him an aide or altering his educational environment so he at least had a chance to do well. Literally the person who was with him would change every half hour or even sometimes fifteen minutes based on which staff member was "free" (why allocate resources, eh? And I'm sure that staff member was reeeeeally happy to spend her "planning time" with him...), he'd be expected to go to gym or library with no real warning, etc.

    A LOT of that could be prevented. But I do think every time it happens that a child is LOCKED into a room that parents should be notified and the entire school board and superintendent need to do a review on the case and papers sent to a disability board at the state level. Just having that pain-in-the-butt amount of paperwork on stuff would really show these teachers and administrators that in the long run it saves time and money to help the kids out.

    I'm not saying never, just like I wouldn't say cops should NEVER fire their guns. But the situation can usually be diffused by then.

    Too often places use the child's privacy as a cover for THEIR abuse.

  4. As always, Mrs. C - a thought-provoking post! yeah! Glad you enjoyed the faces to the "names"! Happy New Year to you and yours:)

  5. Um, didn't Elf's school know that all kids - especially autistic kids - need a consistent schedule with a consistent aide?

    Of course, I suspect that at least some of the extreme outbursts can be avoided by an aide/teacher/etc. who KNOWS the person and can "read" when the person is starting to get overstimulated, scared, anxious before it turns into a full-blown fit.

    I'm not sure whether this fits into it exactly, but I worked with a group of severely autistic teens. One girl came in and was going on and on about "where is the keymaster? Where is he?" It escalated because no one knew what she was talking about. I suddenly remembered that (1) Ghostbusters had been on television the previous night and (2) that evening was the designed mom-daughter movie night. I made a comment about something Ghostbusters-related, and she was instantly calm. Puzzle pieces, indeed.


  6. I believe these people who lock up disables kids are abusers. If K.C. were locked up unsupervised in a room, he would be terrified and would probably rip every strand of hair out of his head. The schools will do anything to save a dollar. I just read in the paper that Mesa school district is cutting 1.5 billion dollars in education. It sickens me. They can give millions to save the whales (Don't get me wrong, I love whales, I really do) but won't give it to education. Where is the logic in that?

    Excellent post! Super post!

    BTW I stopped by G's blog and introduced myself, I hope it's o.k. I really should have asked your permission first..

  7. Thanks, DMV47!

    Allison, duh, you'd *think* so, but it's so much cheaper to act stupid and drag your feet on things, isn't it? I think they were way smarter than they let on. Hindsight.

    KC, see, I am of the opposite opinion. I see the entire system AS abusive and am happy to see cuts in education. If they could get it down to zero I'd actually be very happy. Why should bad districts get MORE funding and training? And sometimes, people don't budget nicely and then still expect more money. I've seen good things in our local preschool and middle school and junior high but NOT at the elementary.

    I have a feeling it's bad a lot of places and people are ashamed or afraid to speak out.

  8. PS. KC, here's where I am on the leaving a comment thing. If it's on the internet, comments are fair game.

    OF COURSE you are welcome to say hi and I would encourage it. :]

    G is thrilled to receive comments. He has been working on a movie with Patrick he is hoping to load up soon.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)