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I think I’m homeschooling again(TW: school abuse)


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Handcuff my escalated, sensory overwhelmed, autistic 11 year old at school  for at least 40 minutes, alone in a room and terrified, and let me know how that works out when Mom and Dad show up….

We need better autism education. We need more de-escalation techniques; better trained staff, more staff, more funding, more programs. We need better laws. We need so much, and yet it’s these kids that are hurt because we adults can’t figure it out.  I’ve worked in juvenile detention. I’ve worked with kids who had severe and persistent mental illness that sometimes manifested as aggressive.  I have experience with aggressive and even violent children.

Not once did I ever need handcuffs(small child restraints and lots of de-escalation/redirection/etc, yes).

This. Is. Not. Okay. 

(Sharing these pictures only with my son’s consent)

(Also: I think the world of LE and special Ed teachers and social workers. I am a first responder, I teach seminars on autism and mental health issues for first responders, and I have a master’s degree in education/SPED.  This isn’t a slam on any of that.  The system is broken, and we need to change it.)

95A9DAAB-3864-49A7-B9F6-1304B4BE89EC.jpeg

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Oh sweet heavens above. 

That's not even something soft designed for someone in a mental health crisis! 

Why the straight hell are we handcuffing CHILDREN?

I'm so sorry, and also SO angry on his behalf. 

Also, alone and handcuffed? Not even someone to monitor him or tell him mom is on the way? ugh

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10 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Oh sweet heavens above. 

That's not even something soft designed for someone in a mental health crisis! 

Why the straight hell are we handcuffing CHILDREN?

I'm so sorry, and also SO angry on his behalf. 

Also, alone and handcuffed? Not even someone to monitor him or tell him mom is on the way? ugh

YES.  This isn't right on any sort of level.  Nothing!  Your poor son.  I am so sorry he went through that.  

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Handcuffs are for police. Apprehending criminals. Not for school staff working with children who are attempting to process events at their school.

Unfortunately, there are parts of the USA where this (and worse) is legal, though Mrs Tiggywinkle's state may have a ban on it.

Definitely get that child out of that school, though. That sort of thing is traumatising for a youngster already in a scary situation, and there's no reason at this point to believe it won't happen again.

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This has happened at our local school district. It's disgusting. What was worse was how long it took for the district to act.  I am so sorry OP. It's evil.

Sources connected to Columbia Elementary tell FOX19 that a teacher's aide witnessed a teacher mistreating some of her special needs students on multiple occasions, some of the details of which are now contained in the lawsuit. The lawsuit quotes the former aide as saying the teacher abused the special needs students in ways that included "seclusion, restraint, physical abuse (such as pushing and shoving), verbal abuse and other emotional abuse."

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No! No! No!  This is nothing short of horrifying!   How is your son doing now?   This is NOT how you handle this type of situation.  Broken doesn't even begin to describe the system.   I am so very sorry for your son.   I am sorry for you and your husband as well.  I can't imagine the horror of what all of you are going through.

What happens now?

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I am so sorry that happened and that the school system failed your family.  

Please, find out if what they did was even legal and if not take the steps needed for it to be handled appropriately.  These types of things will only get better if parents fight for them to.

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I'm sorry Mrs. T. I think it's time for you to lawyer up. Unfortunately, some school districts only act when parents exercise their legal rights. If they can't provide him with a FAPE, then they'll have to pay for a private provider. Handcuffs are definitely not the least restrictive environment so I think you have a solid case.

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I am horrified too and am actually in tears thinking of your poor son and what he went through and now the pain you are feeling knowing he experienced this.  It doesn't make what happened any better for your son, but I hope that this can be addressed immediately so it never ever happens to another child.  There is absolutely no excuse for this and I can't believe any adult would be okay with this.  I am so very sorry.  

 

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This is the therapeutic special needs school.  It is literally the only option within driving distance except for homebound.

I am getting four different stories from four different school staff.  This child finished the school year with high academic honors and has had nothing but perfect behavior reports for almost a year. But no one can tell me what escalated him today, but something went wrong.

Its summer school/extended school year so they can go $@/) themselves. He can stay home with me over the summer.

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2 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

I'm sorry Mrs. T. I think it's time for you to lawyer up. Unfortunately, some school districts only act when parents exercise their legal rights. If they can't provide him with a FAPE, then they'll have to pay for a private provider. Handcuffs are definitely not the least restrictive environment so I think you have a solid case.

Agreed. This is awful in every way. I hope the school district gets ripped apart by a kick-butt attorney!

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3 minutes ago, Kanin said:

Agreed. This is awful in every way. I hope the school gets ripped apart by a kick-butt attorney!

Sorry, tried to edit but double posted instead. 

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I am angry to the point of tears on your behalf and your son's, @Mrs Tiggywinkle

I don't understand how an officer working in ANY school can think this is the right way to proceed, but especially an officer working in a school that serves this specific population of kids. Things went WAY wrong here, and I hope there can be accountability for those who made these decisions, and change going forward.

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34 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Asking seriously, is there any way you could move?  

No, we just bought a house and DH is in nursing school. I’m not convinced that there’s really a good place at this point where I would feel comfortable.

I did find out that neither his regular teacher or his principal, who he has a good relationship with, were there today.

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Please say you got a lawyer. 

So so sorry. And get trauma counseling for your ds and make sure the school pays for it.

It's always amazing how they're ready to call people bad, lock them up, taser them, etc. but not willing to do what it would take to help the person function better. I keep saying this, but Interoception, Interoception, Interoception. And the trauma of what he just experienced will make it even worse. So sad. Unbelievable.

At least it's a good way to start the year. No matter how much I'm failing (to achieve everything I wish I could with/for ds), I didn't handcuff him. Scumbags. Definitely get a lawyer.

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That is horrifying. I feel so upset on your son's behalf. And so sorry that the school staff betrayed your trust. There's a reason that so many special needs families (mine included) homeschool.

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2 hours ago, ieta_cassiopeia said:

Handcuffs are for police. Apprehending criminals. Not for school staff working with children who are attempting to process events at their school.

Or for school districts not properly trained. Or for people not following the protocol. Or because they don't provide the needed supports and services because they have some kind of scant stupid IEP. 

Don't worry, in our state they make it easy and just taser 'em if they have autism and act up.

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36 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

No, we just bought a house and DH is in nursing school. I’m not convinced that there’s really a good place at this point where I would feel comfortable.

I did find out that neither his regular teacher or his principal, who he has a good relationship with, were there today.

Don't let the fact that people who know him well weren't there turn into an excuse to ignore the issue (not saying you are just pointing out it is easy for people who know the child won't return to say 'well that teacher was just poorly trained and we won't  need to deal with them anymore anyway.'

Handcuffs should not have even been an option and that is something that the principal has to enforce. So, just because they weren't there doesn't excuse them. They need to take responsibility for the environment that put your son in danger.

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2 minutes ago, PinkTulip said:

Just thinking out loud here, but wondering why an elementary school would even HAVE a pair of handcuffs on hand that they could pull out to use on an 11-year-old?!!!

So this is a school that only does special education and is all 6:1:1 or 8:1:1 classes. It holds grades 3-12 and has one school resource officer. The SRO is a county sheriff assigned to the school. That’s who put handcuffs on my child.

DH and I have an appointment with the county undersheriff to discuss this in the morning.

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7 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

So this is a school that only does special education and is all 6:1:1 or 8:1:1 classes. It holds grades 3-12 and has one school resource officer. The SRO is a county sheriff assigned to the school. That’s who put handcuffs on my child.

DH and I have an appointment with the county undersheriff to discuss this in the morning.

Gotcha - still horribly wrong. So glad you are meeting with the parties involved and starting to get some answers. Sending strength and support to you and your little guy. 

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Sadly, this happens way too often.  One of the many reasons DS was switched to homeschooling.  Our system is broken and the “solutions” that those who only have been in office setting have come up with are yucked up. They wouldn’t want to be treated that way so why in the hades would they do it to kids with autism and other disabilities.   I hope you have a very powerful meeting tomorrow and get answers ( and make a few heads spin too). 

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57 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

one school resource officer. The SRO is a county sheriff assigned to the school.

Is this because it's a therapeutic school? In our state we have autism schools and I don't think they would have this. Maybe they do and it's all quiet, but I really don't think I've seen it in any of the ones I've been in. 

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Mrs. T I'd still get an special ed advocate if you can because that will be less confrontational as a first step if this school is your only option. You need to get a better Behavioral Intervention Plan in place and make sure they know you'll raise a stink if they don't follow it. In my state you can request a meeting with the IEP committee at any time and they have a set number of days to honor your request. I'd get this ball rolling asap.

Unfortunately, you'll need them to provide services to your son as he ages. You can homeschool him for now, but finding job training later without going through the school district is very difficult. It's worth it to try to fix things now and establish that you are a strong advocate for your son's rights.

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35 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Is this because it's a therapeutic school? In our state we have autism schools and I don't think they would have this. Maybe they do and it's all quiet, but I really don't think I've seen it in any of the ones I've been in. 

I think every school here except private schools has an SRO.  We do have specific autism schools in the state but none closer than 90 minutes and probably more. 

 

14 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

Mrs. T I'd still get an special ed advocate if you can because that will be less confrontational as a first step if this school is your only option. You need to get a better Behavioral Intervention Plan in place and make sure they know you'll raise a stink if they don't follow it. In my state you can request a meeting with the IEP committee at any time and they have a set number of days to honor your request. I'd get this ball rolling asap.

Unfortunately, you'll need them to provide services to your son as he ages. You can homeschool him for now, but finding job training later without going through the school district is very difficult. It's worth it to try to fix things now and establish that you are a strong advocate for your son's rights.

I doubt he’ll qualify for job training.  We’ve had an impossible time getting services and right now school placement in a 6:1:1 and social skills group/therapy is all he gets. His IQ is high and  his adaptive skills always come out just enough over the cutoff to make us ineligible for everything.   We clearly need a new BIP and I am requesting a meeting for that.

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