This Has Nothing To Do With ME
These issues may not be “your” problem at this time, but parents of special education students are productive citizens in society that have all the same concerns as other parents. Parents want the best for their children. Parents do their best to juggle family, work, and life the best way they can. Parents desire to see their children as an extension of their hard-working efforts in years to come. Parents of children with special needs rely on educational support as much as parents of children without special needs. Parents of children with special needs contribute as much to the community and government as parents of children without special needs. In addition, just like other parents, these parents want their children protected.
Breeding Ground for AbuseSpecial education classrooms are a breeding ground for abuse. Many children in special education classrooms have developmental disorders that disable their cognitive abilities to effectively express themselves verbally. Many children in these classrooms are unable to communicate, meaning they are unable to answer questions such as, "How was school today?" One parent described it like this:
"Unlike typical children, autistic children don't realize they are being abused. They may think "this is what school is supposed to be like". Also, many special needs kids are nonverbal. So even if they knew things were not right, they may be unable to tell parents or authorities that they are being abused. This empowers those very few hateful teachers who are isolated from responsibility and accountability by their protective administration system". - Joe Lippeatt (Houston, Texas)
Special education teachers and the students they teach are the most vulnerable populations on every public school campus. Yet there is very little accountability and oversight within the special education classroom in regards to safety and prevention. Many parents are not called until days later about incidents involving their child. School administrators are more concerned with ensuring their special education teachers "trust" them, than they are for the safety and protection of the special education students in the classrooms. An administrator in Aldine ISD, Texas put it like this, "It is hard to find special education teachers and putting video cameras in the classroom will make the teacher feel as if we don't trust them". It is because of attitudes like this that some teachers accused of abusing a child are not fired, but simply transferred to another school. Some teachers accused of using aversive disciplinary methods are allowed to keep their jobs. Hot Sauce On Crayons?
One reason abuse may occur in a special education setting is because of a perceived lack of oversight. This lack of oversight lends to the mind-frame "I will not be caught in the act". What other reason would allow the mind of someone to think it is "ok" to soak cotton balls in vinegar and shove them in a student's mouth as a form of discipline? Would any parent stand for this? Not a parent that cares for the safety and well-being of their children. And that is why parents across the United States are requesting video cameras in public school special education classrooms: A Grassroots Movement Is Stirring!
This is a matter of the heart
Imagine the hearts of parents that have - noticed bruises on their child’s body - found out that their child's hair was ripped out and then the child was closed in a filing cabinet - made to eat hot sauce covered crayons - had water sprayed into their face at point blank range - slapped, pushed, & beaten - made to sit in a closet/store room for extended periods of time without food or water. Here Is A Recent & Related News Report.
These children are innocent and their parents are functioning members of this society. These children deserve protection just as much as any child in our society. As a society, are we really arguing over whether or not to implement better safety measures that will protect innocent children from aversive disciplinary methods?
Video Cameras Speak For Special Education Students