Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scary Report

When you were in school, were you ever tied down, restrained in any way, or put in a secluded room for hours? Neither was I. According to this report by the National Disability Rights Network, it's a fairly common practice to deal with students with special needs.

A very detailed report published just last month, starts out, "Whenever we open a newspaper, turn on the television, or go on the Internet these days, we hear about another child dying or being injured in school while being restrained or secluded. Some may think these are isolated incidents, but, when Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies across this country report that school children have been killed, confined, tied up, pinned down, and battered, this is clearly more than an isolated issue — it is one of national concern."

The report chronicles students who have been strapped to chairs — even wheelchairs, held down by adults, grabbed, dragged and left in secluded rooms, handcuffed, locked in closets, and more. They identify extreme cases in virtually every state.

This little, seven-year-old Wisconsin girl died while being restrained and secluded.

You can read the entire report by clicking here. It's a 60-page pdf, and I will confess, I haven't read the whole thing. But I read enough to know it's worth sharing.

Here is a seclusion room in one classroom:

Tell me what you think.




Speak(er) said...

This article is so disheartening. With all that we've learned, there's still so many ignorant people. How sad that some of the most ignorant are actually responsible for teaching our young.

I hope you had a great week!

Daniel said...

I hope that through Disabilities Awareness Month we can shine a huge spotlight on this troubling report in Virginia.

Anonymous said...

When I was in first grade I had behavioral issues assocated with my disability. I remember spending hours during the day in an empty room with nothing but a chair and a cell like room similar to the picture. I remember there was a "guard" outside the door. That's amazing that they let kids die.

I'm Not Done Yet said...

Thanks for your comments. You help make my point about the need for tolerance and understanding. There is still so much ignorance about so many issues! That's why education is critical.

Daniel, I heard about the Disabilities Awareness Month in Virginia. It sounds like your hard work paid off. Good for you and everyone else who made it happen!

To Anonymous: thanks for sharing. It took a great deal of courage for you to post your comment. I can't imagine what you must have gone through.