Wednesday, October 24, 2012

R-3 settles civil rights complaint - Lebanon Daily Record : Local News: office for civil rights, lebanon r-3 school district, special education, advocates for lebanon r-3 special education,

R-3 settles civil rights complaint - Lebanon Daily Record : Local News: office for civil rights, lebanon r-3 school district, special education, advocates for lebanon r-3 special education,


DESE found that the Lebanon trailers were perfectly normal school buildings.  OCR did not.

In a resolution with the Office for Civil Rights, the Lebanon R-3 School District has agreed to move the two special education classrooms currently being held in mobile homes at the Lebanon Junior High School to its elementary schools.

An investigation that began last spring has finally culminated with the Lebanon R-3 School District agreeing to the OCR’s terms and signing a resolution agreement on Tuesday. The district has until March 1, 2013, to submit a plan about how the district will relocate the classrooms. The move must take place by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education visited the district September 28, 2012 and found the operations in Lebanon were typical of programs for students with disabilities.

They went on to add that it was clear students with disabilities were integrated with students in general education in a variety of settings.

Deinstitutionalization Toolkit: National Council on Disability

Deinstitutionalization Toolkit: National Council on Disability

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter | The World of Special Olympics

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter | The World of Special Olympics

Petition | Missouri State School Board: Examine the actual public comments submitted to MODESE special education | Change.org

Petition | Missouri State School Board: Examine the actual public comments submitted to MODESE special education | Change.org

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seclusion rooms expose Arizona's lack of regulations | azfamily.com Phoenix

Seclusion rooms expose Arizona's lack of regulations | azfamily.com Phoenix

Elementary school faces lawsuit over padded seclusion room | azfamily.com Phoenix

Elementary school faces lawsuit over padded seclusion room | azfamily.com Phoenix

Advocates Renew Call For Restraint, Seclusion Reform - Disability Scoop

Advocates Renew Call For Restraint, Seclusion Reform - Disability Scoop

Who is Responsible for Providing a Free Appropriate Public Education? How to Document Your Concerns When You Disgree with the IEP Team by Pete Wright and Pam Wright - Wrightslaw.com

Who is Responsible for Providing a Free Appropriate Public Education? How to Document Your Concerns When You Disgree with the IEP Team by Pete Wright and Pam Wright - Wrightslaw.com

Individualized Instruction is Not One-Size-Fits All

Individualized Instruction is Not One-Size-Fits All

Monday, October 22, 2012

Heidi Mullin, Michigan School Bus Aide, Investigated For Slamming 7-Year-Old Boy Against Window

Heidi Mullin, Michigan School Bus Aide, Investigated For Slamming 7-Year-Old Boy Against Window

Tampa teacher charged with abusing 5-year-old autistic student | TBO.com

Tampa teacher charged with abusing 5-year-old autistic student | TBO.com

Orange Co. school facing lawsuit over alleged abuse of child... | www.wftv.com

Orange Co. school facing lawsuit over alleged abuse of child... | www.wftv.com

Suit filed over Monroe student reportedly duct taped to desk | The News Star | thenewsstar.com

Suit filed over Monroe student reportedly duct taped to desk | The News Star | thenewsstar.com

Parents report bus driver used duct tape to restrain student with Asperger syndrome

Parents report bus driver used duct tape to restrain student with Asperger syndrome

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Schools Say the Darnedest (Craziest, Meanest, Most Ridiculous...) Things!

Schools Say the Darnedest (Craziest, Meanest, Most Ridiculous...) Things!

10 Reasons Why Schools Say No! - From Emotions to Advocacy

10 Reasons Why Schools Say No! - From Emotions to Advocacy

I Will Try to Forgive, but I Will NEVER Forget


I will try to Forgive, but I will never Forget

Children should never be afraid to go to school, and parents should never have to worry that their children will be harmed by the people taking care of them while they are at school.
Forgiveness isn’t possible when negative emotions stick around and cloud my thoughts about restraint and seclusion.  I am trying to forgive, but I will never forget.  
Forgiveness can’t be doled out quickly when constant reminders of an offense that happened to my child while in the public school system surrounds me.
As many times as I’ve thought about how to come to terms with the violence my son was subjected to, finding forgiveness hasn’t been one of those things on my list of things to do.
To forgive and let all the pain of what my child and our family went through wash away—the guilt, the pain, the anxiety, the despair seems so difficult to do.
Can I really do that? 
Can I truly forget how my son’s downward spiral of regression, depression, anxiety attacks began? He was so little, so innocent and just didn’t know how to cope with everything around him.
Can I honestly forgive the people who abused my child by restraining him over and over and by putting him in seclusion because they didn’t try to understand him, because they didn’t try to understand his disability?
Can I totally forgive the people who turned me away when I asked them to get my son some help?
Can I totally look past their denial of what they did to my son and the retaliation and pain we are still going through today?
Can I forgive myself for overlooking the signs that my son was showing me that “something was wrong”, but I wasn’t seeing because I thought he was in good hands?  If I can’t forgive myself then how can I ever forgive you?
Can I fully embrace the struggles we have gone through to find justice for the violence my son was subjected to at the hands of others?
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I ask myself why I didn’t listen to my son when he told me, “No school Mommy, no like.”  He used to love going to school.  What happened to make him so fearful of school?
Here’s what I can accept.  I can accept that all of that did happen to my child, but I will not accept that it had to happen because I know for a fact it did not have to happen.
Here’s something else I haven’t been able to accept.  Not because I turned it down but because this too hasn’t happened yet—no one has yet to apologize to my son for what they did to him.  Instead I have heard nothing but excuses of why he was treated with such violence and that they felt they did what had to be done.  Do you even remember my son?  I’m sure you have moved on with your life and long forgotten my little boy.
What I can’t accept is how these same people continue to destroy him by using unprofessional evaluations that make him look bad so that they can justify what they did to him as being the right thing to do.
Come to think of it, I think my whole family could use an apology.  Shouldn’t someone have said sorry to me and my husband for the extra stress they have caused us, the time lost with our son and the things we’ve been denied as our child’s parents?  
When are those apologies coming?  I’m not saying I’m holding out for those before I can forgive and forget, but it sure would be nice for someone to admit that they played a role in my son’s regression, depression, and anxiety attacks that developed from all the restraint and seclusion abuse he went through at the hands of people who were supposed to be helping him?  
Forgive and forget.  As much as I’d love to, oh how I’d really love to be able to say to several of  my son’s past school staff, “I forgive you,” but right now, today, this week with what he went through and what we’ve gone through as a family, I’m just not ready to say, “I forgive you.”  In fact, it might be a long time before I am ready to forgive and move on.
To offer forgiveness, if I really, really had to do that today would be a bit jaded.  It would go something like this:
Dear Teacher, Teachers Aide, Principal and Behavior Specialist (and whoever else had a hand in destroying my child’s life),
I know you are all just human, and you thought the violence you subjected my son and other children to was the right thing to do.  I understand that some of you have more professional training under your belt and loads more formal education than I do.  I understand that you have a hard job.  I have a feeling though that your lack of training of my son’s disability, your refusal to help and understand him when I pleaded with you, your power struggle with my son over his behaviors that were not in his control, and your pride muddled your thoughts.  How else did you let what happen to my son happen?  How could you keep restraining him and putting him into seclusion when it was obvious that it was making him worse?  And how did you not see that these violent acts were starting to affect him mentally and were causing him to regress in his academics and social skills?  You had to see he was in mental pain, and yet you continued to restrain him and put him in seclusion.  Why?  Please tell me why so I can try and understand, and if I can understand maybe I can find it in my heart to forgive you and move on.
I totally get that you’re super busy and that you have a lot of children with behavior issues, but that does not make what you did to my son or other children right.  That does not make what you are still doing to children with disabilities right.  Don’t you understand that behaviors are a form of communication for our children who are nonverbal or who can’t express themselves?  Don’t you understand even now that restraint and seclusion doesn’t help children with disabilities and that it can cause long lasting trauma and escalate behaviors.  Clearly you must have been overwhelmed and understaffed.  What other excuse could you give for watching my son go through such mental torment and regression?
I’ve waited a long time to figure out if I need to forgive you, but I’m honestly at a standstill even thinking about it.  I really don’t know how to say this, but I do think it’s time for me to say something.  So, here goes. 
I’m sorry you didn’t open your eyes to see the red flags being waved right in front of your face that my son was suffering mentally from your actions and was regressing at a fast pace.  I’m sorry you were clueless and that your ignorance failed my child.  I’m sorry your educational knowledge of children with disabilities failed my son.  I’m sorry you never knew that behaviors are a form of communication.  I’m sorry you refused to update his functional behavior plan.  I’m sorry you were ignorant of my requests to get him help.  I’m sorry you bullied me at several IEP meetings and made me cry.  I’m sorry you wasted my time telling me, ‘He did this and he did that but you never told me what you were doing to him.’  I’m sorry I waited until my son had a breakdown before I pulled him out of school.  I’m sorry you’re still doing the same thing to other children as you did to my son and that you are still bullying parents.  I’m sorry you haven’t learned a thing from your past violent actions.
No parent should feel as alone, scared, worried, angry and as destroyed as I felt the day I picked up my son from school as he cried hysterically begging me to take him home.  No parent should witness what happened to their child like I did.  No one should witness that and later be told, “We didn’t do anything wrong.”
No parent should walk through life not knowing what to do next or not knowing where to turn for help.  No parent should have to face the agonizing decisions I’ve had to.  No parent should have to fight as hard as scores of parents now have to do to keep their children safe when they go to school.  No parent should be left high and dry with nowhere to turn for help like so many other parents have.  No parent should expect or demand an apology from someone who promised to do no harm in the first place.  None. 
One more thing.  When one forgives his offender the last part of the apology usually includes not only a renewal for the relationship to be whole again, but also a promise, a promise to never commit the offense again.  See, that’s a problem.  Not on my end but for your apology, when you make it….it won’t be a true apology if you are still doing to children what you did to my son.  You still don’t see the big picture and that what you’re doing to children with disabilities is physically and mentally harmful.
You can’t help make this all go away until you take a step back.  Take a step back and look at the children with disabilities as children who need help with the behaviors that are not in their control because right now you are only looking at them as unruly children.  They are not unruly; they are children with disabilities that have a tough road ahead of them!  When you stop and realize how you played a role in damaging my son’s future, and after you rectify what you are doing is wrong, then we can talk about forgiveness. 
It’s with a heavy heart that I apologize that I cannot truly offer any forgiveness to you.  I pray to God that I can because it’s nearly impossible for me to stop thinking about how my son and countless other children ended up where they are today.  Someday I hope to have the strength to completely move past the pain and sadness you brought to my child and my family.  One day I’ll be able to find forgiveness.  Until then I’ll be here waiting for you to offer yours. 
Anonymous mom
09/2012
Please HELP me!
STOP Restraint and Seclusion

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Teacher who abused disabled student in NW Arkansas goes to prison - ky3.com

Teacher who abused disabled student in NW Arkansas goes to prison - ky3.com

Should cameras be installed in special needs classrooms? : News : CarolinaLive.com

Should cameras be installed in special needs classrooms? : News : CarolinaLive.com

6-year-old with Down syndrome hit by 2 teachers

6-year-old with Down syndrome hit by 2 teachers

Principal's notes say teacher blindfolded girl - California State Wire - fresnobee.com

Principal's notes say teacher blindfolded girl - California State Wire - fresnobee.com

The Williamson Daily News - Parents concerned about in school abuse

The Williamson Daily News - Parents concerned about in school abuse

Parent: Bus Driver Threatened Special Needs Students with Duct Tape | fox4kc.com – Kansas City news & weather from WDAF TV – FOX 4

Parent: Bus Driver Threatened Special Needs Students with Duct Tape | fox4kc.com – Kansas City news & weather from WDAF TV – FOX 4

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Politics Aside, There’s No Debating the Scary Facts of Romney’s Tax Policy - COLORLINES

Politics Aside, There’s No Debating the Scary Facts of Romney’s Tax Policy - COLORLINES


On healthcare, Romney pledged to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” The centerpiece of his rollback is the elimination of the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy subsidized insurance. Bafflingly, in the same breath, Romney promised to maintain Obamacare’s “pre-existing conditions” provision, which prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to longterm ailments such as asthma, autism or HIV/AIDS.
The problem is that covering pre-existing conditions is expensive. In order to pay for the added costs of doing so, the insurance companies themselves insisted during the negotiations on Obamacare that the number of people participating in the healthcare system be expanded to help pay for it. That’s one of the key reasons for why we have the mandate: it helps underwrite the coverage of pre-existing conditions. Without the mandate, there is no viable way to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.
Romney himself once acknowledged this fact. That’s why he included both the pre-existing conditions provision and the individual mandate in his healthcare plan for Massachusetts.
When Obama pointed out that Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan was the model for Obamacare, Romney said, “I like the way we did it in Massachusetts.” But in a strange move of mental jujitsu, the former governor, went on to deride Obama for taking Romneycare nationwide through Obamacare. What was good for the people of his home state is apparently not good for the rest country.
Romney had a string of additional desultory answers and skewed facts on Medicare, Medicaid and education. On the Obama administration’s key education initiative, Race to the Top, Romney said that he “did agree” with the program. However he opposes the $4 billion included in the stimulus plan that established Race to the Top and got it going.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Update: DESE says Lebanon School District compliant when it comes to special needs students - ky3.com

Update: DESE says Lebanon School District compliant when it comes to special needs students - ky3.com

LEBANON, Mo -- In June, parents of special needs students in Lebanon held a meeting concerning the treatment of their children. It was led by the Advocates for Lebanon R-3 Special Education. 

They claimed their special needs children were being housed in two trailers behind Lebanon Junior High School for long periods of time. They went on to add their students were not properly being integrated with other students in the school. 

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education visited the district September 28, 2012 and found the operations in Lebanon were typical of programs for students with disabilities.

They went on to add that it was clear students with disabilities were integrated with students in general education in a variety of settings.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Report: Test security is inconsistent among states - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Report: Test security is inconsistent among states - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff


And, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch back in April, in Missouri there were more than 100 reports of standardized testing irregularities, including cheating, that poured into the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2010 and 2011.
According to the paper, of the $8.4 million Missouri spends to administer the Missouri Assessment Program, nothing is spent on test fraud detection services.
It also affirms that Missouri education officials rely on a system of "self-reporting" that assumes teachers and administrators will come to the state when they know of possible abuse.
Under this approach, the article explains that, even when allegations of testing irregularities are reported, the state and school districts rarely engage in the kind of rigorous statistical review many say is needed.
The article says that Missouri has also dismantled a program due to funding reductions that had sent inspectors randomly into schools to ensure tests are administered properly.
That article also acknowledged that Mo. education officials say looking for "red flags" would add thousands of dollars to the testing contract at a time when the state has cut department funding.

$24 Million in Grants Awarded to 22 States to Improve Training Systems to Help Children with Disabilities | U.S. Department of Education

$24 Million in Grants Awarded to 22 States to Improve Training Systems to Help Children with Disabilities | U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $24 million in grants to 22 states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Springfield schools look outside the box for expansion options to deal with influx of students - kspr.com

Springfield schools look outside the box for expansion options to deal with influx of students - kspr.com


Just like Lebanon they are thinking of putting special education students in a separate building.  Lee's Summit did this, too.

School leaders say once the school board leases the property, the church will become a second campus for special education students, who are currently being spread throughout the district in small makeshift classrooms -- because their only campus is full.