Advocating for the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports in place of aversive measures such as restraint, seclusion, and other abusive practices.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
VIDEO: America's Forgotten Children
This heart-wrenching video by Anna Moore and Nelson Rivera is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about the physical and emotional abuse our children have suffered in schools.
Children have been seriously injured - some have even died during restraints performed by school personnel, their deaths ruled by coroners as homicides - yet all-too-often no charges are filed nor is any disciplinary action taken against those who have caused those injuries or deaths.
In too many cases, schools willfully, knowingly, and deliberately cover up the abuse, even going so far as to manufacture evidence against the child or family. Then they assign blame to the child and/or family for the abuse. "If only he/she hadn't said/done that we wouldn't have needed to restraint him/her." Even if the child's behaviors/actions weren't violent or could be considered dangerous to themselves or others.
Some states also have laws which grant immunity to educators who harm children in schools - so they cannot be prosecuted.
State police departments and offices of protective services have turned families away who seek help - because the allegations involve a school or school personnel.
Why are schools and school personnel (legally) held to a different standard? This must stop!
Please watch the video, and if you are so inclined, forward the video to as many as you can.
Please also consider contacting your state lawmakers and ask for more protections for disabled children. Ask that those who intentionally harm children in our schools be held criminally accountable for assault, battery, or homicide where appropriate. Ask that those who work with disabled children be fully trained to recognize how "behaviors" can be part and parcel to the child's disability - that those "behaviors" are how those children communicate. Ask for training in other, safer, scientifically-based methods (such as PBIS) which could be used instead of aversives to "deal with" problem behaviors.
Thanks for your attention to this very serious matter!