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Old 05-16-2012, 07:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by chicagodisneyfan View Post
I support the school district in this case. He had previously hit someone and was sent home. So then he does it again?

What is a teacher supposed to do? He is 11 now - but as he ages he could do significant damage!

Teachers sacrifice a lot in their profession and they should not tolerate abuse by any student.
What part of special needs don't you understand? This is definitely a school issue and if the district had done their job in the first place this would not have happened!!!!
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by chicagodisneyfan View Post
I support the school district in this case. He had previously hit someone and was sent home. So then he does it again?

What is a teacher supposed to do? He is 11 now - but as he ages he could do significant damage!

Teachers sacrifice a lot in their profession and they should not tolerate abuse by any student.
I am a teacher and I DO NOT support the school district. This child is special needs and should have a behavior plan. I have worked extensively with students (both with and without special needs) and have seen even those without special needs escalated into a frenzy by people who didn't know how to handle a situation.

Think for a minute--as an adult haven't you gotten angry and lashed out (even with words) at someone? Imagine yourself as a child whose comprehension isn't as developed as yours and who doesn't have the words to use. Imagine that you are feeling attacked by others. What would your instincts be?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
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I spent a little time Googling, and apparently this specific district has had similar problems before. If I had a special needs kid in that district, I would be looking to move.

Not excusing him in any way, but it has been my experience that most principals in large schools do not have any idea of what goes on in spec Ed.

It would not surprise me to find out that the teacher knew that the child needed extra support, but she could not get that school to do anything, so she had to press charges to get him removed from the classroom and/or get additional resources that he needs.

I agree that the educational system is broken, and I don't really know how to fix it. that is why I left public education.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:57 PM   #19
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I am so sorry OP that this has happened to your son. This teacher did not deal with this situation correctly. Then to have him arrested is crazy. He is 11 and has special needs! Thats just horrible of them! I hope you can press charges against them!
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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Wow ! Hugs.I am so sorry for what your family is going through. I hope your son recovers from his experience soon. I would lawyer up with a special Ed attorney and file charges against the district ASAP. This was just so wrong.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #21
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It would not surprise me to find out that the teacher knew that the child needed extra support, but she could not get that school to do anything, so she had to press charges to get him removed from the classroom and/or get additional resources that he needs.

I agree with the school district. No teacher ever, no matter what they teach, deserves to be hit, kicked, or hurt in the line of duty. We do not sign up to be abused. We do what we do for little respect, little money, no raises, and almost no help.

I completely disagree with what the other poster said about how many times she had been injured. Being physically abused does not come with the territory of being a special needs or gen ed teacher. Do doctors, lawyers, sanitation workers, maids, bookkeepers, or cashiers get physically abused and accept it? NO! if this was your daughter or son who was hurt while she was teaching would you accept it as part of the job? NO! You would be incensed!

Special needs children/adults need different strategies and more support... our educational system is failing them and the teachers who work with them, and if it takes filing a police report to get this teacher and child some help then I am glad the police were there.

I'm sorry for the OP for having to go through this, no parent should, and I hope you get the help you need for your child to be successful.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:41 PM   #22
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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   #23
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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   #24
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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   #25
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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, 07:49 AM   #26
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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
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 06-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #27
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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, 10:28 AM   #28
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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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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.
If you read the bolded part of OP's post, you can see that this is NOT a case of the teacher being punched. A student with epilepsy and mental retardation was flailing on the floor. Anybody with even the smallest amount of common sense knows that if somebody is flailing on the floor and you get close to them then there's a possibility that you're going to get kicked or hit. This does not equite to intent to kick the teacher. Heck, the child is epileptic. For all the teacher knew, this could have been a seizure. I don't see how this is in any way the same as a teacher being assaulted.

With what was described by OP, would you think that this is assault if you were the one kicked? Would you have even put yourself in that position to be close enough to get kicked? I'm guessing that you would have made sure that there was nothing and nobody within reach of the child so that everybody was safe and you would have considered the possibility of a seizure and acted to ensure EVERYBODY's safety since you clearly understand special needs. This teacher and staff don't seem to understand various special needs and how to care for and cope with them.

I do agree that special needs kids need to be held accountable for assault (note that for it to be assault there has to be intent and an understanding of intent). If a child can not understand intent or what assault is then the child needs to be a more restricted setting where he/she has the the support that he/she needs for both staff and students including the student in question to be safe. This is a totally different discussion from this scenario where I don't see how there was any intent at all. The staff needs to be trained in how to handle these kinds of situations.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #29
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If you read the bolded part of OP's post, you can see that this is NOT a case of the teacher being punched. A student with epilepsy and mental retardation was flailing on the floor. Anybody with even the smallest amount of common sense knows that if somebody is flailing on the floor and you get close to them then there's a possibility that you're going to get kicked or hit. This does not equite to intent to kick the teacher. Heck, the child is epileptic. For all the teacher knew, this could have been a seizure. I don't see how this is in any way the same as a teacher being assaulted.

With what was described by OP, would you think that this is assault if you were the one kicked? Would you have even put yourself in that position to be close enough to get kicked? I'm guessing that you would have made sure that there was nothing and nobody within reach of the child so that everybody was safe and you would have considered the possibility of a seizure and acted to ensure EVERYBODY's safety since you clearly understand special needs. This teacher and staff don't seem to understand various special needs and how to care for and cope with them.

I do agree that special needs kids need to be held accountable for assault (note that for it to be assault there has to be intent and an understanding of intent). If a child can not understand intent or what assault is then the child needs to be a more restricted setting where he/she has the the support that he/she needs for both staff and students including the student in question to be safe. This is a totally different discussion from this scenario where I don't see how there was any intent at all. The staff needs to be trained in how to handle these kinds of situations.
Yes, I have been kicked too, deliberately by a special needs student. Even on the floor, 'throwing a fit', a student can deliberately kick a staff member.

I agree that the child needs to be in a more restrictive environment, for the safety of all involved. Sometimes you can't clear the other kids away fast enough (evacuating 20+ kids from a room when a student is tossing chairs is really tricky. Especially when that student is aiming at people.) Also, depending on what is written in a behavior plan, (and I've read some pretty crappy behavior plans) the child may have to be isolated in a safe room and taken there under restraint, for the safety of all involved.

Even if a child cannot 'understand' what assault is, giving appropriate consequences can go a long way towards getting that child to understand.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #30
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Yes, I have been kicked too, deliberately by a special needs student. Even on the floor, 'throwing a fit', a student can deliberately kick a staff member.

I agree that the child needs to be in a more restrictive environment, for the safety of all involved. Sometimes you can't clear the other kids away fast enough (evacuating 20+ kids from a room when a student is tossing chairs is really tricky. Especially when that student is aiming at people.) Also, depending on what is written in a behavior plan, (and I've read some pretty crappy behavior plans) the child may have to be isolated in a safe room and taken there under restraint, for the safety of all involved.

Even if a child cannot 'understand' what assault is, giving appropriate consequences can go a long way towards getting that child to understand.
I really think that you're reading some of your own experiences into what was said by OP. Nowhere does it say anthing about throwing things or lashing out at anybody. The child was on the floor flailing. Kids can very quickly be moved to the side of the room. No need to evacuate a classroom for a child who's on the floor flailing.

If a child has a history of that kind of fit where their plan states that they are to be restrained then I understand getting close enough to do so, but unless the plan says that (and OP has said nothing to suggest that there is any such instruction) then I just don't understand why a teacher would get close enough to a flailing child that she COULD be kicked. Move things and people away to ensure everybody's safety seems to make more sense. Making sure it's not an epileptic seizure makes even more sense.

There's a difference between consequences and criminal assault charges. HUGE difference. I absolutely agree that consequences for inappropriate behaviour can make a huge difference. I also think it's important with special needs kids (heck even neuro-typical kids but more-so with special needs kids) to look at the environment and figure out if there's some underlying need that isn't being met that let do such behaviour. Both need to be done. I still think criminal assault charges are compeletely inappropriate when there's no ability to understand intent.
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