Does your child’s school enforce obedience with solitary confinement, physical restraints?

with 4 comments

In my public school 40 years ago, teachers didn’t lay their hands on students for bad behavior. They sent them to the principal’s office. But in today’s often overcrowded and underfunded schools, where one in eight students receive help for special learning needs, the use of physical restraints and seclusion rooms has become a common way to maintain order.

It’s a dangerous development, as I know from my daughter’s experience. At the age of 5, she was kept in a seclusion room for up to an hour at a time over the course of three months, until we discovered what was happening. The trauma was severe.

According to national Department of Education data, most of the nearly 40,000 students who were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year had learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs, even though students with those issues represented just 12 percent of the student population. African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained. In our society? No surprise there.

Joseph Ryan, an expert on the use of restraints who teaches at Clemson University, told me that the practice of isolating and restraining problematic children originated in schools for children with special needs. It migrated to public schools in the 1970s as federal laws mainstreamed special education students, but without the necessary oversight or staff training. “It’s a quick way to respond but it’s not effective in changing behaviors,” he said…

The use of restraints and seclusion has become far more routine than it should be. “They’re the last resort too often being used as the first resort,” said Jessica Butler, a lawyer in Washington who has written about seclusion in public schools. Decisions made by the ignorant, lazy or incompetent…

RTFA for anecdotal incidents of what I would only term abuse of schoolkids. Read how a school treated Bill Lichtenstein’s daughter, Rose.

…On Jan. 6, 2006, a school aide called saying that Rose had taken off her clothes. We needed to come get her.

At school, her mother and I found Rose standing alone on the cement floor of a basement mop closet, illuminated by a single light bulb. There was nothing in the closet for a child — no chair, no books, no crayons, nothing but our daughter standing naked in a pool of urine, looking frightened as she tried to cover herself with her hands. On the floor lay her favorite purple-striped Hanna Andersson outfit and panties…

We were told that Rose had been in the closet almost daily for three months, for up to an hour at a time. At first, it was for behavior issues, but later for not following directions. Once in the closet, Rose would pound on the door, or scream for help, staff members said…

Bad enough our school systems have given up on teaching. Apparently, now, the primary task is conditioning children to obey.

About these ads

Written by Ed Campbell

September 12, 2012 at 6:00 am

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This is torture mate – I’m shocked and appalled…


    September 12, 2012 at 6:21 am

  2. Reblogged this on DOG Sharon and commented:
    This is truly shocking – young kids are being tortured in the USA


    September 12, 2012 at 6:22 am

  3. This article sparks my interest in becoming a special ed teacher, it doesn’t sound like I qualify though.

    Emotional Mommie

    September 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

  4. [...] school enforce obedience with solitary confinement, physical restraints? [online] Available at: http://eideard.com/2012/09/12/does-your-childs-school-enforce-obedience-with-solitary-confinement-ph… [Accessed 01 December [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,801 other followers

%d bloggers like this: