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Old 05-15-2012, 05:28 PM   #1
HARVEYSGIRL
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School had my 11 yr old special needs son arrested

I got a phone call last Wed. telling me that my son was at the Juvenile detention facility. The elementary school had had him arrested for kicking his teacher. He suffers from epilepsy, mental retardation, and has a severe speech problem. He was having a fit in the floor and the teacher was trying to get him up. He kicked her in the chin. She pressed charges against him. Then the principal pressed charges, saying he hit her. So my mentally handicapped son has two FELONY charges of assaulting a public official against him. They told me I would be hearing from the district attorney! What really irks me is the fact that the school let my son sit in jail for 3 hours before they even called to tell me there was an issue. How can this be legal? I am no where close to finished with this. I emailed the news stations! He was the top story on FOX San Antonio last night. The special ed system is so broken. I just wanted you all to know that this could happen to your family! People need to be aware!
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your son. If you ask me it's not just Special Ed. that is messed up but the whole education system. Where has common sense gone? Hope everything turns out ok. Best of luck.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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I just went to Fox and saw the clip. The way the school handled the situation from start to finish was horrible! I hope it all works out for you and your son!
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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Wow! I also watched the clip and can't believe they had your son arrested. I work in a special needs classroom. Last spring, on a daily basis, I was hit, kicked, spit at, scratched, had my hair pulled, and once had a hard, metal object thrown at my face. I ended up with a bruise on my cheek, and my gum tissue was bruised. One time, the student threw a pair of scissors at me, causing a large nick on the back of my hand. These injuries were all caused by an emotionally disturbed 5-year old girl. Our staff was trained in safe restraint procedures, and we physically restrained her almost everyday. All the while, the district was trying to come up with behavior management strategies. When these failed, they began searching for an alternate placement for the child.

At no time did any of us consider filing charges, or even leaving our jobs. When you sign up to work in certain special ed. classes, there's always the possibility of being injured. If the employee doesn't like it, they can ask to be reassigned, or reconsider their career choice. To me, it's like working in a daycare and being surprised that you have to change diapers. It goes with the territory! I just heard that we might be getting another child with "volatile behavior" next week. Our staff just looked at each other and said, "Here we go again!" We'll be ready to try to help the student with his behavior and skills. However, we will not be filing charges against him!

Please keep us updated on this case. I will be interested to see how it turns out.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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wow Im at a lost of word when i read this post and seeing your news clip.. omg my hart goes out to you.. I'll pray that every thing works out for your son and all the charges be droped.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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I'm so sorry, and will pray for everyone involved, especially your child and your family.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HARVEYSGIRL View Post
He was having a fit in the floor and the teacher was trying to get him up. He kicked her in the chin. She pressed charges against him. Then the principal pressed charges, saying he hit her. So my mentally handicapped son has two FELONY charges of assaulting a public official against him.
I would think the teacher trying to get him up while/very soon after fitting would not be right? Shouldn't they first be moving him into the recovery position?
Did they follow procedure? Do they have a procedure?
This just screamed at me as completely wrong from the getgo.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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The principal obviosly has no effective training in special education. Did he call an IEP meeting and have the behvior plan upgraded after the first incendent, did he make sure his teachers were properly trained in when and how to apprach a child who is melting down or seizing, obviosly not or the second incedent would not have happened. No he just thought punishing a child for a manefestaion fo thier disability was the proper path. As a parnet I view this as abuse.

I think it is clear who is at fault.

Here is a quote from the newest federal resource document and the lionk to the full document

"Physical restraint or seclusion should not be used except in situations where the child’s behavior poses
imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others and restraint and seclusion should be avoided to the greatest extent possible without endangering the safety of students and staff."

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/seclusion/...-resources.pdf
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #9
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I look at it this way. If the child was having a seizure and kicked the teacher then there should not have been any repercussions. If the child was having a fit (temper tantrum?) then the teacher and principal have every right to file charges. Special needs is not an excuse for a child to hit and kick and not be punished. It is unacceptable behavior. Perhaps with this action the child's IEP can be modified to provide additional assistance such as a one on one paraprofessional or a different school placement.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:19 AM   #10
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I have lots of unanswered questions about this, because "fit on the floor where he kicked a teacher" to "being arrested" doesn't compute, even for the most heinous of school districts, because they know that opens them up to lawsuits.

Was the school unable to reach the OP quickly and unable to care for a child in a violent fit? How violent was this contact with the teacher, and was it out of frustration but voluntarily or part of a seizure? Does the child have a history of physical violence? It appears the answer to at least this one is yes - because of this, if it's an unavoidable fact of what he struggles with, then perhaps this school is not the place for him at this moment. Being mentally handicapped does not give him the right to strike others, and if not wanting to leave something he considers a field trip sets him off, perhaps the stimulation of the field trip and school that needs to be taken away until he is better able to deal with leaving without resorting to violence.

I don't think criminal charges are the answer, though I also don't think they'll stick because of his age and conditions, but I also think the school knows that. So I think there must be something else at play here, possibly the school trying to send a message that his behavior is repeatedly unacceptable to the point of possible larger repercussions. Obviously he shouldn't have sat in a detention facility for three hours before the OP was contacted, but again, I suspect this is substantially more complicated than "school district can't deal with a special-needs kid and sends him to jail."

I say this with great sympathy for him, as he likely truly doesn't understand the rules in place around him. But not understanding the rules doesn't mean he's not subject to them. When I was younger and much more prone to AS meltdowns, I did any number of stupid things that were against home or school rules (none violent, but I'd run from classrooms or yell things I shouldn't, etc.). But I always suffered the consequences for those. I have to play by society's rules even in my worst moments. It might not be entirely fair, but that's life for you. I've found I've become a far more functional adult by being willing to accept that unfairness and adapt rather than railing against it and refusing to change.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talking Hands View Post
I look at it this way. If the child was having a seizure and kicked the teacher then there should not have been any repercussions. If the child was having a fit (temper tantrum?) then the teacher and principal have every right to file charges. Special needs is not an excuse for a child to hit and kick and not be punished. It is unacceptable behavior. Perhaps with this action the child's IEP can be modified to provide additional assistance such as a one on one paraprofessional or a different school placement.
Assuming this was a manifestation of a disability there should have been "repercussions". The school should have done their job and addressed the need and support that was needed to help this child and create a safe environment.

Punishing a child for a manifestation of a disability is abuse, pure and simple.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
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It sounds to me the teacher handled it wrong. If he was in the floor having a fit why not leave him there until he calmed down? Seems to me he didn't set out to kick her but rather she was kicked when she tried to physically move him. If that is the case she put herself in the way.
OP g/l I hope it works out for you and your son.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwormde View Post
Assuming this was a manifestation of a disability there should have been "repercussions". The school should have done their job and addressed the need and support that was needed to help this child and create a safe environment.

Punishing a child for a manifestation of a disability is abuse, pure and simple.
So what do you do when the kid realizes he can punch someone in the face and get away with it? Oh, poor Johnny is mentally disabled, he doesn't know any better just doesn't cut it for me anymore. What does adult Johny have in his future?
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwormde View Post
The principal obviosly has no effective training in special education. Did he call an IEP meeting and have the behvior plan upgraded after the first incendent, did he make sure his teachers were properly trained in when and how to apprach a child who is melting down or seizing, obviosly not or the second incedent would not have happened. No he just thought punishing a child for a manefestaion fo thier disability was the proper path. As a parnet I view this as abuse.

I think it is clear who is at fault.

Here is a quote from the newest federal resource document and the lionk to the full document

"Physical restraint or seclusion should not be used except in situations where the child’s behavior poses
imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others and restraint and seclusion should be avoided to the greatest extent possible without endangering the safety of students and staff."

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/seclusion/...-resources.pdf
And where does throwing a fit and assaulting staff not fall into "imminent danger"?

I understand how people are upset about a child being locked up for 3 hours in jail - that is very extreme. But give one minute of thought to the other side! How many of you go to work each day and are assaulted? And if you are, how can that possibly be acceptable to you?

I have filed charges against a special needs student who punched me. He was twice my size, and I was fearful for my life. I should not have to work under those circumstances.

Obviously there does need to be a new IEP, and perhaps a new placement.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:13 PM   #15
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And where does throwing a fit and assaulting staff not fall into "imminent danger"?

I understand how people are upset about a child being locked up for 3 hours in jail - that is very extreme. But give one minute of thought to the other side! How many of you go to work each day and are assaulted? And if you are, how can that possibly be acceptable to you?

I have filed charges against a special needs student who punched me. He was twice my size, and I was fearful for my life. I should not have to work under those circumstances.

Obviously there does need to be a new IEP, and perhaps a new placement.
While I was a para, I was spit on, groped in both private areas REPEATEDLY and DAILY, scratched more times than I can count, hit, kicked, you name it. I would never ever consider calling the police on these children. I cared about them and wanted to help de-escalate things.

I also cannot count how many times I saw teachers and other paras PURPOSEFULLY try to escalate situations instead of de-escalate them. You could always tell which teachers would and which wouldn't. I am not speaking out against teachers - I worked with several loving, caring, wonderful teachers. However, there are definitely bad teachers out there who should not be around children, especially children with special needs.
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