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Archive for the ‘Special Needs Students’ Category

Together, WE Can Stop Massachusetts School From Torturing Students

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Ok, so, on the facebook blog page, there are over 10,000 members.  And, it’s growing daily.  There are almost 600 people subscribed to the blog, itself.  And, there are other outlets with scores of other people reading it.  We need every single one of the people reading this to a.) SIGN the petition; b.) SHARE this blog post.  You’ll understand in a minute.

When I checked my inbox today, I had a notification from change.org about a Special Needs school in Massachusetts that basically electrocute its students.

In 2002, a special needs student named Andre McCollins was allegedly strapped down and electrocuted for hours, leaving him with permanent brain damage, all because he refused to take off his jacketThe people torturing Andre were officials at his school. You can watch what happened on video.
The video was shot at a Massachusetts school for special needs kids called the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). Gregory Miller used to be a teacher there, and he says electrocuting kids as punishment is extremely common — even for minor offenses like raising your hand to go to the bathroom.
“A non-verbal, nearly blind girl with cerebral palsy was shocked for attempts to hold a staff member’s hand — her attempts to communicate and to be loved,” Gregory says.
Gregory desperately wants to help the kids at the JRC —that’s why he started a petition onChange.org demanding that the JRC stop using electroshock to punish kids. Click here to add your name.
Gregory says the JRC’s founder created electroshock devices which are even stronger than police stun guns to punish students for bad behavior. An official at the United Nations said that using these devices on children is considered torture.
According to the Boston Globe, the JRC’s founder resigned after being charged with misleading a grand jury by destroying video footage of other students being shocked.
Gregory believes that if thousands of people sign his petition, his former bosses will capitulate in the intense pressure generated by a national spotlight.
Thanks for being a change-maker,

I.  Was.  Livid.  Reading that was bad enough.  Watching this video, which school officials tried desperately to keep “sealed”, revealed an unfathomable level of brutality.  Staff on student.  Bullying to the inth degree.  Andre McCollin restrained, faced down, and electroshocked 31 times during the course of the day.  This is a wholedifferent level of bullying, actually.  It’s called torture.  It’s called criminal abuse.  And, every pair of eyes who reads this can play a part in bringing it to a screeching halt.  For the students, the special needs students!, being brutally abused by this staff, it can’t end fast enough.  Imagine your son or daughter, your neighbor’s kid, or even a total stranger!, being subjected to being restrained and being zapped by electroshock devices that are stronger than police stun guns…for hours!!  Is you blood boiling, yet?  Good.  Sign the petition.  Share this blog post.  Encourage OTHERS to share it.

This taking ending bullying to a whole different level.  We have the power, in numbers, to make this change.  I’ve already signed.  Your turn.

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Student Stuffed in Duffel Bag by SCHOOL EMPLOYEES!!!

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Ok, I don’t think there’s a way to spin this that could possibly justify tying a 4th-grader, or ANYBODY up in a duffel bad.  It happened in Louisville, KY.  Fourth-grader Christopher Baker, a special needs student with autism, was “jumping off the walls” according the school officials.  I guess their means of keeping him off the walls is by restraining him in a duffel bag.  That is not only wrong:  it’s illegal.

It seems we’re seeing a rash of stories of SCHOOL OFFICIALS bullying special needs students.  It’s bad enough for them to have to worry about being bullied by other students.  No one should ever have to go through that.  It’s a whole different ball of wax when the ones doing the bullying are the ones who are paid to educate and provide them with a safe learning environment.  The question that begs to be asked is “how can we expect the students to stop the bullying if they’re seeing school officials doing it, themselves?”  The answer would be “we can’t”.  Do you ever remember me saying that, in order to bring about the necessary change, it’s going to have to start with the adults?  This story drives home the point.

It is my opinion that the one(s) responsible for this shouldn’t only be terminated immediately, they should face criminal charges.  In a surprising turn of events, the interim school superintendent cited confidentiality laws as the reason he couldn’t comment on the situation.  However, after reading the article, I came away with a very clear understanding that the school officials feel that this boy got what he deserved.  It’s the price you pay for “jumping off the walls”.  Especially when you’re a 10-year-old autistic student.

So, here’s a definite call to action:  Lydia Brown, herself an 18-year-old autistic student at Georgetown University, started a petition online calling for change in Mercer County’s handling of autistic students.  It, quite thoroughly, asks for the heads of the school officials responsible for this despicable act.  And, it goes further as to add measure to prevent it from ever happening to another student again.  I would like to encourage every follower of this blog to sign the petition.  Sign it, and pass this along to your own circle of friends and family.  We cannot expect to stop the kids from bullying if we allow the school administrators to get away with it. (are you listening, Maryland?)  Zero tolerance means absolutely that.

Oh, and if you have kids, tell them unless they like duffel bags, it’s probably best they stay off the walls.