School had my 11 yr old special needs son arrested

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by HARVEYSGIRL, May 15, 2012.

  1. Ali

    Ali 14 years here... never a tag fairy visit

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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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  3. Talking Hands

    Talking Hands <font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<

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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.
     
  4. kritter47

    kritter47 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  5. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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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.
     
  6. adisneymama

    adisneymama DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  7. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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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.
     
  8. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    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?
     
  9. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  10. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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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.
     
  11. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  12. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    What?! :scared1: I'm so sorry to hear this. You guys are in my prayers.
     
  13. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    I was giving examples of situations that could evolve from a 'flailing fit', and that getting deliberately kicked was one of them. Also, once a child is on the floor, throwing a fit, all learning has stopped in that room, so the other students need to be removed so their learning can continue, somehow, somewhere. One needs to remember that there is more than one child in the classroom. Some people tend to forget that quite quickly.

    My daughter was placed in a class that had a significant number of children with behavioral issues. She was not one of them. She learned nothing that year, (except some cool new swear words,) and spent a lot of time being evacuated from her classroom.

    Did the OP state that the child had no ability to understand intent? If this 11 year old child has no ability to understand cause and reaction, then a more restrictive environment needs to be found immediately. The other kids need to be kept safe. The other kids do not need to worry about being hurt, stabbed with a compass point or a pair of scissors, ducking flying chairs (which has happened to students in our district, until I put my foot down and refused to let it continue - by filing assault charges). They also have a right to FAPE.

    All this can be fixed without the hyperbole of an overreaction. No need for a lawyer, a court case, or a news story. Just some common sense on both sides, parents and school system, to find the appropriate, safe placement.
     
  14. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Yes this should have been dealt with competently at the first incident, but instead the school due to their incompetence overreacted and had the child arrested.
     
  15. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    Don't forget that if the IEP is changed, the parent has to agree and sign it. Otherwise, the school legally has to follow the last signed IEP. I have a feeling that we are not getting the entire story.

    bookwormde, you are always one to jump on the school, doctors, and just about everyone else besides the parent in these situations. Is it never, ever the parents' fault in your world? It seems the blame is always on someone else. I'm not saying I blame anyone here, it's just that after many, many posts, your response has gotten very predictable.
     
  16. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    I can only go by the information presented by the parent and the news story.
    Yes the school should have called an IEP meeting immediately after the initial incident and made changes, but they did not so who's fault is that.
    Schools are the "professionals" so they are held to a higher standard. Yes there are certainly parents who if properly informed could be more supportive of their children, but parent training even though part of to tools in an IEP is rarely implemented.
    I can tell you in 100s of cases I am familiar with I have never seen one where the school did not have the majority of the culpability when things "go bad".
    Sometimes it is just well meaning educational who lack the support and training, often it is just people who are doing what is standard or convenient, but in the end it is the schools primary responsibility.
    Texas in many regions is known for being one of the worst for these types of situations, so I am sure that "clouds" my perceptions.
    Bookwormde
     
  17. I Love Pluto

    I Love Pluto DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>I guess that make

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    I am so sorry that your family has to endure all of this. I feel especially bad for your child who may not understand the full impact of what has happened, nor does he understand the consequences given.

    Hopefully, the school and you can come to a reasonable conclusion that is acceptable to both parties.

    I would get some advice from your son's doctor before agreeing to any conversations of any kind about this issue.

    Prayers are sent up for you as you deal with all of this. :hug: :grouphug:
     
  18. JennyDrake

    JennyDrake Darkwing Duck's Biggest Fan

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    I have one better than that! My BF's 9 year old was arresting for bringing a "weapon" in from the playground. The weapon??? A stick. Not a club. Not a log. A stick. He did not hit anyone with it. He just had it in his possession.
     
  19. WantToGoNow

    WantToGoNow DIS Veteran

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    My ds11 had a kid with behavioral issues in his class last year - 5th grade. My son has ADD and his own behavioral issues. He was afraid of this boy most of the school year because he was kicked if he got too close to the boys desk - he sat right in front of him. The 2nd to last week of school this boy was hitting a smaller kid on the playground and my ds jumped in to stop him. After being punched multiple times in the chest and kicked hard enough to leave a baseball sized bruise my son grabbed him by the throat. Both boys were lectured and given detention. The boys aide later told my dd that the other parents were livid because their kid was punished. Now I agree that jail is not the right punishment for any child but he also can't be allowed to assault anyone - child or adult. If it had been my dd8 he was beating/kicking - my child with a clotting disorder - we would have ended up at the ER.
     
  20. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    Where in the world were the supervising adults? :confused3 Where was the kid's aide? A student with violent tendencies should never be left unattended - scheduling overlaps are hard, but it can be done. My district never plans for it until I make a stink about kids being unsupervised during our contracted, unpaid half hour lunch break. All I have to state is "I think this might be in violation of the student's IEP"...
     
  21. dasan

    dasan Earning My Ears

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    I'm curious about something. You mentioned in another post that your daughter
    learned nothing the year she was in a class with many kids with behavior issues.
    Can I ask why do you work with special needs kids if it seems tough for you?
    Perhaps I have misunderstood something but it seems like a conflict for you.
    I apologize if I got something wrong. I'm from Canada were all kids are in the
    same classroom regardless of abilities.
     

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