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Rights of one vs right of the many

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Federal laws ensure that all children have the right to an education. Children requiring Special Education services are to be served in the regular classroom when possible.
Children with severe learning issues, under the Special Education umbrella, may qualify for a free public education until age 21.
Children in private schools must be tested for Special Education services, such as Speech, if there is an academic need. These services must be provided by the public schools, at the private school in some cases, if the child qualifies.

We have 12 Autistic children in our Structured Classrooms. There are 3 certified teachers and 5 fulltime aides with the chidren. They have built a separate bathroom with wash/dryer, a timeout room, a small kitchen, continuous video taping (with audio) of what goes on in each part of the rooms (in the event of any lawsuit it can help present the facts). The annual budget for consumables for this area is four times what each of our grade levels get. They buy lunch for each of the children (with those funds) as teaching them to eat appropriately and a variety of foods is part of the curriculum.
One of the children has had a major breakdown - bipolar/psychotic episodes. The school district is paying for a psychologist to consult. He recommended admitting the child to a facility until he is back under control (with medications). The parents refuse to place him. BTW, the child has bitten, hit, kicked numerous staff members on a daily basis. He has destroyed carpet and walls in the timeout room in the Autistic area, so he has now been moved to a regular Special Ed pull-out classroom (dedicated for Special Ed use). He now has three fulltime Special Ed advisors and one Autistic teacher with him at all times. He has been given the Special Ed timeout room and bathroom as his personal area. So far, he has pulled up the carpet, torn off the baseboards, peed numerous times of the carpet (he is normally toilet-trained), and continued the aggressive behavior.
In taking over the Special Ed area, two of our regular Special Ed students no longer have access to the bathroom they were using for toilet training (they have regressed). The grade level on the other side of the wall of the timeout room hears constant noise from his distructive behavior (the teacher told them there is construction going on and the kids ask when it will end).

Counter this with the teacher for the extremely bright kids. She spent $300 on a remote controlled dinasaur for her classes (some kids from each grade level). She is going to start a leadership class for kids - they will visit college campuses, tour local museums (they already do this in the grade levels) and other things to be determined. BTW, this teacher will chose the students who participate and we know it is going to be the students in her regular classes (the ones already on track to go to college) instead of the kids who might not have thought about college as an option in their future.

Your thoughts on this?
post #2 of 22
I think the agressive, violent child should be removed permenently, it is not fair to the other children.
post #3 of 22
Having a daughter who is brain-damaged & went through Sp.Ed. I have to agree with ckblv. That situation needs to be assessed; I hate the thought of the county getting involved, but sounds like Children's Services needs to get involved.
I had to move to a different county when my daughter was 7 because the sp. ed. class in our original county had an autistic, violent girl who bit me through my jeans & it took 3 adults to dislodge her! Talk about painful - I wanted to scream, but had to keep calm for the sake of the students. My daughter was so scared of that other girl
I realize that the disabled have rights & that in the long run, the better life skills that are acquired in SpEd classes, the cheaper it will be for the society on the whole BUT there are situations when the rights of one ARE taking away from the rights of the others.
Another gripe I had - I brought my daughter back to the original county when she was a freshman in high school. And one of the boys in Sp.Ed. was trying to grope her, and grabbed her butt one day, so I called a meeting with the school counselor & the sp. ed teacher. They just reminded me that the boy had problems, so what could they do? I kinda lost it & said that if it had occurred between 2 "normal" kids, that boy would have been in juvie for sexual assault!! But, like they said, yes, I was right, but, some boys have special problems. What could I do against such IDIOCITY Nothing, so back we went to the 90 mile round trip drive to take her to the next county again
post #4 of 22
This child should be removed, some children simply cannot be helped in any type of school setting. I think it is part of the pendulum effect. For a long time kids with any type of disability didn't have access to public education now public education has to be provided for children no matter what the disability is or how severe it is. There is a sane sensible middle ground it just hasn't been found yet.
post #5 of 22
I third the motion to remove the agressive child and get child services involved. The parents are hindering his right to be with others.

I find it ironic though...if it were reversed, the parents would sue your school and have the lack of placement pulblished all over the papers...in your situation, you can't do much except take it.

Now heres where things get a little tricky and I apologize if someone wants to flame me for this. Federal law does state that everyone has the right to an education...however it does not state [that I'm aware of] that they have the right to an equal education. In the cases of your autistic children, they need their own separate education to at least be able to function beyond school. The higher ed students...if they had the same education and opportunities as the autistics they could become bored, depressed, and disinterested in school. Same with the autistics, they might not get the benefits of the experience of visiting a college like the higher education might. By the way I'm not saying that autistic children shouldn't have the same opportunities, I'm just saying that education is just generally a tricky thing.
post #6 of 22
If the child was removed, the parents would probably sue and win. While we want to be inclusive and not hide the disabled as we did in the past, there still is the issue of safety and rights of the others that should be protected also.
post #7 of 22
The child should be removed and placed into a facility designed for an aggressive kid ( likely the district will have to pay ) ....

As someone with Brain issues and a near genius IQ , I can say inclusion is better the segregation amoung students ... I can also say that they dont help kids like me any more than when I was little which is sad
post #8 of 22
I do not think that so many resources should be spent on such a program. I am not in any way saying that the children with disabilities should not be given an education, but that is just too much. There are children being caught in the middle of the ones that special needs and those that are exceptionally bright. If you are neither of those, that is exactly what is happening.
I read about a program, I wish I could remember where it was done, where many of the special needs kids were being educated more toward actually learning to live in the world and become functioning members of society, and it was working wonderfully. The kids were happier, they seemed to learn amazingly well, and the resources were able to be used more equitably. It was discussed on a forum I used to go to, and one of the member's autistic brother was part of it. She said he was happier, less prone to anger, and once he got old enough, he held down a job, and lived happily in an assisted living community with other with varying types of disabilities, mental and physical. She said that they had been worried about him being warehoused, but it never happened, and he thrived.
I have a friend with 2 autistic sons that were similarly educated, mostly by her, that now live on their own and are doing very well. Neither have any interest in moving back home with their mom.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
We have a child who has the mental capacity of a three month old. The bus picks him up in the morning, with a school nurse on the bus to deal with his medical needs and the same people take him home every day. There are special lifts to get him out of the wheelchair to change him at school, tube feedings, respirator (which the school has to provide) and all of the supplies. There is a music therapist who visits him daily - the only thing we've found he even remotely responds to. This is basically free daycare for the parents, year round, until the child turns 21.

I have such mixed emotions on this subject. First off, I'm very sorry that some children have special issues - medical/physical, developmental, emotional. We have a couple of parents who are angry that they can't take a regular vacation due to the difficulties in taking their child with them or finding care for their child. I'm very sorry for them.

I just don't understand why the school is responsible for potty training children. Why do we have to be the ones to teach them to chew and swallow food? To brush their teeth? To wash their hands and take a shower?

We already have to teach moral values (right from wrong), responsibility and so many other things that I thought kids should be learning at home.
You would be amazed at the things teachers are asked to do - and still be expected to teach. It's never enough for many parents who only see is done for their child, not realizing that there are 21 other children making special demands.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
As for removing the aggressive child, CPS can't/won't get involved as it is not neglect for the parents to refuse residental care. The child is covered under the children with disabilities act, so there are volumes of laws that have to be followed and documented. The teachers have no recourse as they "accepted their job and all it entails."
Even when this child hits another child, he will not be sent to special programs like a normal child would. Again, the CWDAct.

As you can tell, I am so frustrated that common sense has been legislated out. And it is the average child who is suffering. Remember this the next time you hear about how bad public education is or that our kids are lagging behind other countries. Out of our 12 children with autism, six were born in other countries and are not citizens but are here legally.
post #11 of 22
I have a HUGE problem with this. If this was a typical "ADHD" disruptive child he/she would have been kicked out of school long ago. I have seen children who have been kicked out of 4 different schools for behavioral problems.

If this child does not follow within the rules of safety for the school and its pupils then he/she should not be allowed to attend. Non disabled children are not allowed to endanger others. A danger is a danger, not ifs, ands or buts about it.

Parents who use our school systems as free baby sitters disgust me. If the child is stuck at the level of a three month old then the parents should be paying to have the child in daycare or preschool.

Children with learning disabilities that can actually LEARN when effective techniques are used are the ones who should be in special ed. My nephew is dyslexic and has an IQ of 129, extremely intelligent. His school refused to acknowledge this diagnosis and labeled him ADD. He didn't get any learning help in school. In grades 1--6 they let him take his test orally. Then in the 7th grade all of a sudden that "help" was pulled. My sister, a single mom, paid to have a special tutor that helped my nephew learn the way he needed to. That is what a responsible parent does.

To use so many resources on children who don't have the capacity to learn is outrageous. Maybe the school should hire someone to test the children and prove that they are not able to be educated. If they do not have the capacity to actually learn then they do not belong in school.

The law says education, not potty train and learning to chew. I seriously think the school could win a lawsuit if it was shown the child cannot be educated. It would only take one such lawsuit to set the precedent and this type of abuse of the system would stop.

In the case of the dangerous child, the psychiatrist should state he is a danger to others and/or himself and have a mandatory commitment. Just the same as an adult with such disorders. Physicians are required to protect the public from mentally ill people who are a danger to others. Why should this not be applied to children? Especially in a school environment.

If the dangerous child hurts someone I sure as hell hope that the parents of the child get sued and not the school.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
There was actually a lawsuit filed against the school district next to us over educating a child with emotional issues. The parents won and the district has to pay for residential care for this child until he is 21.
The worst thing is that a friend of mine was the deciding judge - now ex-friend.

The thing is, the wonderful children with disabilities act takes a lot of the financial responsibility off of the parents and puts it on the school district. That's why we have nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, adaptive PE specialists, psychologists and a host of other specialists.

Talk to your officials.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
The thing is, the wonderful children with disabilities act takes a lot of the financial responsibility off of the parents and puts it on the school district. That's why we have nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, adaptive PE specialists, psychologists and a host of other specialists.

Talk to your officials.
These are the types of things that our taxes pay for. I have a problem with it when the school is simply used as a baby sitting service, as it takes the responsibility from the parent and gives it to society in general. If a child has any ability to learn, they should be given the opportunity to attend a school. But if that child is so disruptive as to harm themselves or others, they need to be removed from an open system.

A good friend of my family taught autistic children for many years. She retired when one of her students hit his head against hers and broke her jaw. 15 years later the school district hasn't yet reimbursed her for her medical care which continues to this day because she couldn't personally afford the surgery to have her jaw fixed properly. She's been on soft foods all this time because she can no longer chew food successfully. The child was not removed from the school and the parents were not help accountable for their child's actions. The teachers tried to have this child pulled from the class for years because they knew he was a danger. All of this could have been avoided.
post #14 of 22
Your friend should have gotten a Personal Injury Attorney long ago. I know I would have.
The main problems as I see it is, people, many, many people want the government to take over their responsibilities. We are sliding down that slippery slope to Socialism. Then, when we are there, people will be complaining because their rights have been taken away. It is either, or, can't have both.
This entire issue is very, very sad.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
As for removing the aggressive child, CPS can't/won't get involved as it is not neglect for the parents to refuse residental care. The child is covered under the children with disabilities act, so there are volumes of laws that have to be followed and documented. The teachers have no recourse as they "accepted their job and all it entails."
Even when this child hits another child, he will not be sent to special programs like a normal child would. Again, the CWDAct.
There has to be a loophole on that though. Could the other parents complain to CPS about the safety of their child or would it fall back on the school. Even if its something where you're causing neglect for the other children because the agressive child is not able to be put into another program.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
There has to be a loophole on that though. Could the other parents complain to CPS about the safety of their child or would it fall back on the school. Even if its something where you're causing neglect for the other children because the agressive child is not able to be put into another program.
Legally, that's about the only way to get something like this resolved. The thing is...the teacher can't suggest anything to the other parents to get their help. The other parents have to act on their own. The IDEA is so complicated!!

But to me, it would seem the the LEA could request a re-evaluation of the said child....and make it known thru the evaluator that said child is endangering himself and others. That's the way it works in TN, anyway. It may mean going thru mediation, but if there's that much going on, it should be worth the time and trouble, to all parties!
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Now heres where things get a little tricky and I apologize if someone wants to flame me for this. Federal law does state that everyone has the right to an education...however it does not state [that I'm aware of] that they have the right to an equal education. In the cases of your autistic children, they need their own separate education to at least be able to function beyond school.
actually, 'separate but equal' was the norm for segregation for many years. In Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court made the landmark decision to end the doctrine of "separate but equal" in public schools. At the time of the decision, 17 states and the District of Columbia had segregated public schools.
i seriously doubt any similar treatment of the disabled/differently abled [new PC terminology] would be upheld in a court of law, nor would i expect any school/district to even attempt such a format, due to our litigious society & the fear of reprisals.
i really think, in the case of our extremely disable children, that, to some extent, they were better served prior to PL 94-142. however, such service was solely dependent on the abilities of their caregivers to pay for it.
post #18 of 22
I haven't seen anyone address your second scenario about the gifted children, but as a former gifted student who was pulled out of classes and did things like go to leadership camps, etc, those are necessary. I never had a class except for the gifted program that was instructional level (ie, I wasn't bored senseless by, and learning things I knew already) until high school. Those kinds of things are necessary for kids who truly belong in a gifted program-- we had nine in a class of a couple hundred-- because without it they really aren't getting much of an education aside from what they might have done on their own.

I go to two special ed middle school classes every week, and some of the children are quite difficult. There are episodes in these classes that would positively astound a lot of people, with the amount of disruptive behavior and obvious behavioral problems. It sounds like you are in a well-funded school. The one I go to has one teacher with a dozen special ed students and no aides. Disruption, verging on chaos, is par for the course, and this week there was one student who was removed from school following something that happened, which of course made the majority of the students refuse to do their work.

But. In talking to the teachers, they've all realized that for the most part it is better to have the kids in school. Where else will they be? In some cases, the answer is simply on the street or home alone.

As for how much it costs-- we have a responsibility to educate every child as best we can, the gifted ones, the at-grade-level ones, the special needs ones, regardless of cost. Of course, there is a point at which it just isn't possible, mostly because people act like they're allergic to paying taxes but still want their government to do everything for them.

There's also the voucher program-- 11 cents of every dollar in this school district is spent funding the educations of children at private schools who should be attending our public schools. That's money that is sorely needed, and in a time where the No Child Left Behind act is leaving every child behind... it just doesn't make sense.
post #19 of 22
So, are you saying "we" as in John Q Taxpayer has a responsibility to keep, violent, agressive children in school and what about the other children, that can't learn because of the violent, agressive child?

Z, are you still in college, or are you out in real life paying those taxes you are so free with?

I certainly do NOT think the government is responsible for everything in life.
post #20 of 22
I worked with autistic children for six years; I taught in a classroom with nine children and six adults. We had children who were extremely aggressive, unpredictable, destructive, and difficult. I would come home from work routinely battered & bruised.

But I never came across a single child who was unteachable, who couldn't learn, who didn't deserve a shot. The law says that every child in the U.S. is entitled to an education. Some children are more expensive than others.

The gifted students deserve an education that is appropriate for them, as do the special needs children.

The school I taught at was funded by school districts, in part. Children who were inappropriate for the public schools (as it sounds like that particular student very much is) were educated there, and their district paid for it. I think that system worked out very nicely. The student wasn't in a public school environment, being potentially disruptive (and disrupted), and they were getting an education that met all of their needs, which are certainly more numerous than "typical" children's. Those needs included speech, OT, PT, psychology, behavioral support, one-on-one aides, adaptive equipment, etc. as necessary.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Zissou'sMom, my point about the leadership class is that the gifted kids are the ones most likely to go to college anyway. I would rather see the kids on the edge or the ones who lack the support at home make the college visits at a young age - it might be life changing for them whereas the gifted kids are already on the college track.

The law provides for a free education for each child. It doesn't state that we have to provide extras for the gifted kids. There are a bunch of kids in the regular classroom who would love to have access to some of the things the gifted kids get - and they would probably do as well as the gifted kids (since entry into the program is based on test results - once in, you are in for the rest of your educational career).
The law does state that there has to be academic need to qualify for Sp Ed. And there are some parents of average kids who are furious that their child can't receive services to enable them to become straight A students.

FYI, I have a niece and nephew who are autistic. I have three children who went through our gifted program (but not with some of the outrageous programs in place now).
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
So, are you saying "we" as in John Q Taxpayer has a responsibility to keep, violent, agressive children in school and what about the other children, that can't learn because of the violent, agressive child?

Z, are you still in college, or are you out in real life paying those taxes you are so free with?

I certainly do NOT think the government is responsible for everything in life.
Lawls. I've had a job since I was 14, and I'm pretty sure my life is 'real'. When I stop getting a good amount of them back I'll feel the same way-- I'll be glad my taxes are going to help those who need it, and I'll never be glad when they're spent on cronyism and unjust wars. Your point here seems to be that since I can't possibly pay as much taxes as you, my opinion is less valid. No.



The parents of average students who insist on their children being shoved into the gifted program are ruining them for the children who actually need them. Also, a lot of resources are spent on kids who are at-risk of not going to college. A lot of resources are spent on all kids. Grade-level children are being challenged in the regular classroom. Gifted children aren't. By saying they don't deserve anything 'special', it's kinda saying they don't deserve the same educational experience as at-level kids. Children should be challenged by their schoolwork, and if field trips and such are the best way to do that, then they're the best way to do that.

Also, I don't remember many field trips like that for gifted ed class or regular classes that I didn't have to pay for at least some of, and I was at a very well-funded school.

Sure, every kid should probably get a chance to go on a college visit, but there are a lot of programs that do target at-risk kids specifically. When I was at Kent, there were bus after bus of children from urban districts in Akron and Cleveland and Youngstown on a regular basis, and when those kids graduated high school there was an intensive program over the summer to catch them up to where they needed to be to enter college.


I will agree that children who are in the middle both socioeconomically and intellectually might get less special treatment, but I don't even think that's necessarily true. There is no need to spend extra just because they spend extra on other groups. I don't think it's unfair that their needs are met without any special treatment.

I also know that those kids will ostracize anyone who is in a gifted class, and some of them wouldn't be caught dead in one. Some of them are just as snooty to special ed kids.
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