Glad to see Georgia ban solitary confinement. Now, let’s outlaw corporal punishment from our classrooms.

All I can say is it is about time.

I was at the state Board of Education meeting this morning where this was done with little fanfare because all the attention was on the adoption of the Common Core Standards, but I want to congratulate all the advocates, many of whom are blog regulars here, who led this effort.

Now, let’s ban corporal punishment next. Who’s with me? (I know who’s against me.)

If you want to read why these practices are so awful, please go back to this interview I did with the author of a book on the practice of solitary confinement.

Education researcher Mary Hollowell spent months chronicling an alternative high school in rural Georgia before she discovered the awful secret of the school: She discovered that kids were placed in a solitary confinement cell double bolted from the outside.

“The cell was dark inside and had a small, square window,” she said. “It was the kind of set-up you saw in a mental institution, not a school.”

Such rooms are at complete odds with the mission of the schools.

From the AP:

Georgia schools are no longer allowed to put students in solitary confinement under a ban approved by the state Board of Education.

The ban, voted this morning, also limits the use of restraint to calm misbehaving students in the classroom. And for the first time, it requires schools to notify parents when their children are restrained by teachers and other school officials.

The new rule marks the first time the state has addressed the controversial practices, which can lead to injuries in teachers and students and, in some cases, death.

The state has been working for two years to draft policy on the disciplinary tactics.

92 comments Add your comment

EnoughAlready

July 8th, 2010
4:02 pm

I like you Maureen, but have you gone completely insane?
A swag on the “downside” doesn’t solve everything, but it sure can put some children on the right track.

I once had a teacher who would pull a students ear, another who would click your hand with a ruler and a principle who would offer up boxing gloves for the “not so weary of paddling”. Those were the good old days.

catlady

July 8th, 2010
4:05 pm

Okay, now how about a policy on what CAN be done with a violent, abusive, cursing student. How about for a student who runs (out of the building)? How about for one who constantly disrupts the classroom with threats toward teachers and students?

While I am not a fan of isolation (except nominal isolation), and not a fan of corporal punishment (for my own sake), what WILL be done with the students noted above? Tell teachers how they CAN defend themselves and their students,how they CAN provide FAPE to the other students!

I am SURE the BOE can do that, right? They don’t need 2 years, right? Please give the schools some “research-based” disciplinary methods to handle persistently violent (soon to be) felons! Tell us how to save the rest of the kids (and their educations) from these common problems.

And I am not talking about high school kids, either. These are elementary-aged students, for whom there is no “alternative school.”

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
4:14 pm

EnoughAlready,
Sounds like my Catholic school.
Maureen

Should be reserved for a select group

July 8th, 2010
4:22 pm

Corporal punishment should be reserved for a select group of individuals.
School administrators, school board members, mean teachers, mean parents and “Enough Already”.
Beating children is just showing a lack of intelligence and only fosters more violence.

CALIGULA

July 8th, 2010
4:29 pm

So the students can no longer be restrained. I would like to read the entire ruling. So when I see a student running to attack another student, I will just stand there and say, “No. Stop it. Behave. Don’t do that”, until they calm down on their own. I’m sure that will work wonderfully in these [controlled] high schools. …and like someone else said, what about the other children who have to suffer with the constant interruptions to their educational experience? Who is looking out for them? While there are bad ways to do everything and some people take things too far, sometimes physical restraint and confinement “for the good of the whole” are necessary.

Rocky Balboa

July 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

So, this means if two kids are having a knock down fight, you can’t pull them apart. And Caligula, what about if a teacher is about to be assaulted by a student? Does the teacher just stand there and turn the other cheek?

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

@Cal, From my understanding: Students can be restrained to keep them from hurting themselves or others, but they cannot be restrained as a form of punishment for wrongdoing.
You can grab and hold a student who is charging your or someone else. But you can’t punish a kid who was talking or kicking the wall next to him by placing him in restraints.

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
4:41 pm

From DOE:
New Rule 160-5-1-.35 Seclusion and Restraint for All Students is being proposed to address the use of seclusion and restraint in Georgia public schools and educational programs. The rule prohibits the use of seclusion in Georgia public schools and educational programs. The rule significantly limits the use of restraint in Georgia public schools and educational programs. The use of physical restraint is prohibited except in those situations in which students are an imminent danger to themselves or others and when the student is not responsive to less intensive de-escalation techniques. The rule further clarifies that physical restraint must never be used as a form of discipline or punishment. Local school systems and educational programs using physical restraint, as defined in the rule, must have procedures regarding its use and must provide training to staff that meets the minimum equirements specified in the rule and must notify parents if their child is restrained. The rule is not to be construed as imposing ministerial duties on individual employees of a school system, school or program when acting to protect students from imminent harm or bodily injury. The rule does not interfere with the duties of law enforcement or
emergency medical personnel.

Realist

July 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

Obviously Maureen thinks schools are still like “Our Miss Brooks.”

Mike

July 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Actually teachers are not allowed to seperate students fighting now. It is amazing to me how we hear about how bad corporal punishment is bad, but now there are several studies out now that prove the opposite. That children who are diciplined with corporal punishment are more productive adults that contribute more to society than those who don’t receive corporal punishment.

TBG

July 8th, 2010
4:51 pm

School districts need to implement behavioral education to teachers to bring awareness of how these children are thinking and what can be done to counter act behaviors even before they become explosions. There are many educators who are trained and have degrees in behavior modification/analysis, but that was by choice and wasn’t a requirement. It may be very beneficial to make the courses mandatory in obtaining an education degree. Such training can bring awareness of what is triggering behaviors and understanding what the student is getting out of the actions. Many measure can be put into place at the very beginning (elementary level) before they become full blown out of control teens. I have worked with Severe behavior disorder students as well as autistic children who exhibit extreme behaviors, when they are placed on a proper management plan and teachers are aware of what can trigger an unwanted behavior and avoid it happening, then it makes it a more comfortable environment for the student and the teacher.

Now looking at the road blocks to create environmental harmony; budget cuts have eliminated behavioral specialist out of the school systems, teachers are frustrated and over worked and do not have the energy to go the extra mile it takes to do the few extra steps to get disruptive behaviors back under control, it isn’t a quick fix process but a step by step. The broken record of parent responsibility/accountability continues to come up…we don’t have a recourse to hold parents responsible for their child’s behaviors when their kid is destroying classrooms, other’s learning and hurting others. The push for AYP has made it next to impossible to suspend a student because it is held against the school to do so. The use of ISS (inschool suspension) will now probably come under scrutiny as an “improper” way of handling behavior. What can we do as educators when Johnny is punching Susie in the face..who has time to call his parent to ask permission to pull him off? What can we do? If a parent is not taking responsibility for their child’s behavior let’s define it as “neglect” call DFCS (isn’t that our ethic responsibility)…if the kid is out of control and physically hurting himself or others…call 911…let the outside resources put pressure on the parents to wake up and raise their child.

Doug

July 8th, 2010
4:54 pm

Teachers of students with severe behavior disorders and autism are now in a more precarious position. When 22-year-olds with the mental capacity of a 6-year-old have tantrums, do these teachers just sit back and let them physically assault students and staff? There is no excuse for locking children alone in isolation rooms, but the state continues to castrate teachers’ ability to do what’s necessary and appropriate for kids.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
4:55 pm

@ Maureen -

Your views on most every one of your blogs clearly shows how little you know about what happens inside of a classroom. Your views are more in line with some spoiled parent that thinks their child and every child is an angle that can do not wrong and would always make straight As if it weren’t for that bad ol’ teacher.

If you disagree with corporal punishment of any sort, and you don’t agree with isolating students out-of-control, then exactly WHAT THE HECK DO YOU BELIEVE SHOULD BE DONE?

Are you the type that thinks that everyone should just ignore the child throwing things and hitting others and screaming? Do you think this is condusive to a good learning environment?

My God woman, find a different blog where you know at least a little!

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
4:55 pm

@Realist, Was Miss Brooks about schools? I thought it was about an office.
Research tells us very little good comes from corporal punishment in any setting.
At the state board meeting, a slide show began with the Dilbert quote: “Change is good. You go first.”
I do think we tend to resist change, but I think the research tells us that we need to change how we deal with student behaviors.
Maureen

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
4:58 pm

@TBG -

I am not a parent of these children. I am not their therapist. I am not their medical doctor.

I am their high school teacher. I am there to teach them content of fairly difficult subjects. I am their to assist them in making wise decisions regarding their careers and academic futures (and even that responsibiltiy is a stretch).

I expect when a student walks into my classroom they ALREADY know how to properly behave. They should ALREADY respect authority and adults. They should ALREADY realize the importance of an education. These are the things that PARENTS should teach, not me!

TBG

July 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

@HS Teacher
I totally agree, that is my job also, I am a classroom teacher so I am working in the trenches. It would be a dream to teach a class of well mannered, compliant motivated students. The reality is, that utopia doesn’t exist. I thought I knew what behaviors were about…then I went back to school and educated myself more on it. I had no clue…and now that I am able to see behaviors through different eyes, they can be cut off at the pass or redirected to more positive avenues, plus I can pass on the knowledge to my co-workers so the support a student needs is continued. It is not a matter of being a therapist or medical doctor (though we have hats we put on that fit those roles as educators)it is having simple knowledge and strategies that makes a classroom environment calm, productive and respectful and helps those students who need a little extra attention. If teachers can come armed with this knowledge of how to act and the right dialogue to change a situation prior to stepping into the classroom then you will eventually see that you have the kind of dream class you would like to have.
Whether we like to know it or not a lot of times we are feeding the behaviors with what we do and how we react.

BehindEnemyLines

July 8th, 2010
5:47 pm

re: “Research tells us very little good comes from corporal punishment in any setting.”

And of course “research” is never conducted with the outcome determined & the data manipulated in order to “prove” that predetermined conclusion. Common sense, on the other hand, and our own lying eyes couldn’t possibly ever be right.

TBG

July 8th, 2010
5:49 pm

@HS Teacher

That would be awesome if that was the case. The reality is we are the managers of our classroom environment. It is not a matter of us being therapists or medical doctors. It is having the knowledge of seeing a behavior for what it is and knowing how to address it before it accelerates into a full blown issue. Colleges requiring behavior management courses as part of an education degree is not an unreasonable solution. We will not have a quick fix solution anytime soon, so why not start with those who haven’t set foot in a classroom yet. Teachers need to be receptive to learning about behavior components/management. It not only makes their life easier in the classroom, it helps the kids in the big picture. (food for thought) If the elementary level teachers are able to cut behaviors off at the pass, then life for the highschool teachers will be the dream classrooms that you speak of. (This is not directed at the cases of extreme behaviors that do require special services/medication)

College Professor

July 8th, 2010
6:34 pm

Maureen: Two bloggers have asked you to propose disciplinary alternatives to isolation and paddling, which you oppose. You have not yet had the courtesy to respond to their pleas. How about it? How would you discipline an unruly, disruptive student?

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
6:47 pm

@College professor, I am not sure we need to theorize on what Georgia would do instead of paddling and isolation since 30 states ban both already, many of which outperform us in every measure. In fact, paddling remains most common in lower achieving states. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Thousands and thousands of schools are doing quite nicely without resorting to paddling in this country. And most of the highest performing countries in the world also don’t paddle. Can Georgia children be so different from millions of their peers that they require paddling?
Here are just a few discussions of what these states do:
http://www.stophitting.com/index.php?page=alternatives
http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/pospaper_corppunish.aspx

parent

July 8th, 2010
6:56 pm

of a Special Needs Child and I remember when my son was restrained in an isolation room at the age of 7. I had never given permission for the school or the school system to use restraints on my child. The restraints dislocated his elbow because of his struggles. This ban is most certainly needed for our young.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
7:05 pm

@ TBG

Your statement is circular logic. I clearly stated my job expectations and requirements as a high school classroom teacher.

You decided to stretch out the discussion to include things that would be ‘nice to have.’ Yes, it would be ‘nice to have’ if every doctor had great bed side manner – not all do. Yes, it would be ‘nice to have’ if every Wal-Mart employee would smile at each customer as we walked by – not all do. Yes, it would be ‘nice to have’ if …….

However, a classroom teacher is not a parent. Yes, we know how to manage our classroom in reqards to maximizing the learning environment, but DO NOT abuse that term to make it a ‘nice to have’ so that we are anything more than a classroom teacher.

I have not been trained in every mental disorder. I have not been trained to be anything more than a classroom teacher. In fact, I don’t have the time during a period to do anything more than teach my content lesson.

If you want to waste your time to pretend to be YOUR students parents, therapists, best friend, etc. that is your choice. However, that is not why I am paid and it is not the job that I signed up for.

By the way, 100% of my science students passed their EOCT and the average score was 94%. What was yours? You see, I spend my time TEACHING and not doing things that PARENTS should be doing!

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
7:08 pm

@College Professor

Maureen cannot answer your question any more than she has. She obviously has no real experience as an educator or in the classroom at all. She has no clue as to what an average room of students do on a day to day basis. The only thing she has to go on is searching google to find out what so-called ‘experts’ think and say, and then she parrots them.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
7:10 pm

@ parent of a special needs child….

Have you given thought to anyone other than YOUR child? What about the other children that YOUR child may have hurt if left within the classroom? What about the other children that may have their education deprived because of YOUR child.

And, without those restraints that only dislocated an elbow, might your child have hurt himself far worse WITHOUT those restraints?

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

@HS Teacher, Why do you overlook the main part of my response — that Georgia is among a dwindling number of states that allow paddling.
And again, I don’t get why educational researchers are discredited. No one would use quotes when talking about cancer “experts” or Middle East “experts.”
Why is that researchers on education are immediately discounted?
But again, why do 30 states manage to maintain order in their schools without paddling?
Care to respond to that?
Maureen

Dawn

July 8th, 2010
7:21 pm

I understand the part about not being able to put a student in a dark room in isolation or using some device for restraint unless it is part of a special needs child’s IEP, but I guess even now that may not be possible. However, there are times that you have to physically restrain a child when you have one that is completely out of control- throwing things, hitting, kicking, etc. There are ways to do it gently that will not harm a student especially small children, but teachers cannot have all options removed to deal with disruptive, out of control children. Now, of course, it makes perfect sense to ban corporal punishment as well. Let’s just have Georgia students have no fear of punishment for doing wrong. All of us teachers are working everyday with children from families where they learn right from wrong and only come to school to learn.

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
7:23 pm

@Dawn, I posted the wording of the rule above in the comments. It would allow restraint in the situation you describe.

parent

July 8th, 2010
7:32 pm

@HS Teacher, my child would not have hurt anyone, he was 7 years of age, he was very small maybe 40 lbs, he would not have hurt himself. How funny you bring up that he might have hurt other students in the classroom when it was his face slammed into a classroom window by another autistic student reacting to sounds in the classroom. Please stop using caps about MY child. We are a family that believes in the public education system, my husband, two sons, daughter in law are all teachers, two other children is Spec Ed and I work at a school as well. I only hope you enjoy your job as well as we do as a family.

Dawn

July 8th, 2010
7:47 pm

Maureen, but how long can they be restrained. I’ve had to restrain a kindergartener until his mother got there to get him 30 minutes later. My other students were not being taught by me (the person trained and paid to do so) during this time. At what point does the restraint of the student become a problem according to this ban. Plus, I’ve looked through the internet and can’t find all the specifics. Working with children at a federally designated low-income school can be very challenging as it is without removing options that teachers need.

Dr. John Trotter

July 8th, 2010
7:52 pm

Nawwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We don’t dare paddle the little spoiled brats because they may turn out like the Greatest Generation who, by the way, were nearly all paddled one time or another at school. I certainly was paddled, but I won’t use me as an example. Many folk think that I am crazy. But, I can assure you that had I not been paddled, I would have been more of a rascal than I was. Heck, we were all paddled and took it in stride and actually laughed about it. Da_n, what’s wrong with this little weasel generation? What’s wrong? Dr. Spock-parents like Maureen, I think. Sorry, Maureen, but you are cold flat wrong again. You can’t effective run a school without a paddle. This is not barbarian thinking. “Boards of Education” have been part of our schools for generations. The weirdos are the nuts who actually oppose such practice. I would love to see you guys run some of our schools. The kids would run you out on a rail and scornfully and contemptuously laugh at you for being so studpid, mindless, and weak. This is what is wrong with our schools now. The weasel-wonks got in control of our policies and practices and have actually made it a crime to discipline the students. Didn’t ole Al say, “What’s up is down, and what’s down is up”?

I’d better stop now. I’m on a roll. Yep, let Professor Peabody and Miss Junior League Louise run M. L. King Middle School. Now that would be a sight for JackA_a TV! A comedy of errors!

Did I ever mention that I think that I am politically incorrect? P. I. and proud of it!

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
8:22 pm

@ Maureen – Yes, I do care to respond….. You won’t like it but in your heart you know what I say is true.

First, I was a PhD student in education at GA State. I quit the program because I saw how these “experts” would selectively research and study and the publish things of interest to them only. And, I saw for first hand how these “experts” woudl ignore their own data in front of their face and discard it in favor of other data that WOULD support what they wanted. So, Ohio wants their children to be view as well behaved? Let’s do a study to show this and how great we are! So, African American students aren’t scoring as highly as others? Let’s do a study to show that it isn’t their fault but rather the fault of the teachers.

Second, the ajc (and that includes you) are infamous for ONLY publishing anything that is sensational and that supports a single sided perspective.

Third, do you really really really think that all students in all of those 30 states are angles? If so, I have a bridge in Brooklin to sell you. Every state, every school system, and every school has their challeneges. The data you ‘found on google’ is simple the PR BS that those 30 states wanted you to find.

Again, I challenge you to do something FOR YOUR career this upcoming school year. Don’t just ‘visit’ a school. Go and get certified to substitute teach. Try it. Don’t go in and announce that you are from the ajc. Go in and do it like everyone else. See how it goes. Try different school systems, try different grades, try urban vs. suburbs – THEN report what you find.

Isn’t that what a good journalist would love to sink their teeth into?

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
8:23 pm

@ Maureen – I did respond to you. But you STUPID filter continues to make posts disappear. Maybe you can AT LEAST fix this since you don’t know squat about education.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
8:28 pm

@ Maureen – You want respect from educators? Then I throw down a challenge to you.

Between now and Sept, go and become eligible to substitute teach in a few schools systems around Atlanta. Pick 2 or 3. It isn’t hard to do. You just attend a few meetings and that’s about it.

Then, try to substitute during the semester. Try different school systems. Try different grades. Try different subjects. Try urban vs. suburban schools. Document your experiences and thoughts.

THEN write an article. Isn’t this the type of thing a real journalist would really want to sink their teeth into?

Cobb Mom

July 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

HS Teacher – please tell me that you did not just ask the parent of a child who was ABUSED by being restrained in an isolation room until injury if that mom ever thought of other children! And that you did not just use the words “only dislocated an elbow.” When was the last time your boss dislocated your elbow because you didn’t do exactly what he said when he said it?

It doesn’t appear that you are thinking of students as human beings at all. As the mom of three gifted, honor roll grads of public schools AND one with special needs, I’m appalled at the lack of compassion for any student that doesn’t help to raise the test scores. It disgusts me that any of my children would have you as a teacher.

Assuming that children with special needs are bad and in need of additional/better parenting is not only insulting, but simplistic. I’ll answer the question of whom besides my daughter I’m thinking…all the children who will no longer be injured in prone restraints with two adults holding them down on the floor until their bodies are bloodied and bruised. I think of all the children who will not be traumatized by being tied to their chairs, unable to speak or communicate their needs. I think of the children who have missed hours and hours of instruction locked in seclusion rooms, begging to get out. I think of Jonathan King, who actually died in one of those seclusion rooms because of barbarian discipline practices. And I think of my own children, the three honor students who were respectful, easy to teach and helped boost your precious test scores. And the one who, only by the grace of God and her parents’ understanding that even teachers can be abusers (sometimes accidentally because they have not been trained in other methods; sometimes intentionally because they lack compassion or are burned out or are just plain mean), escaped placement in a school where restraint and seclusion are daily practices.

And I thank God that each child in my family is safe and my children understand that human beings are more valuable than science test score (even my daughter who is now a MS science teacher and my special needs daughter, who through GCA passed her 6th grade science test, as well as her other tests – a feat she did not accomplish while being abused and misunderstood in her former school)!

Maureen Downey

July 8th, 2010
8:40 pm

HS Teacher, I was a sub in a high school in an urban system in New Jersey during a year between college and grad school. I have taught at the community college and college level.
I know there are challenges.
I know paddling is not the answer.
Maureen

Ole Guy

July 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

Maureen, I would appreciate the opportunity of participation on the topic of…”EXPERTS”. This is a title which has been bandied about so much so as to negate any once-due esteem. Experts abound in all walks of life, from the highly-experienced to the well-read, with more than a few stops in the land of self-annointment.

During my earliest years in the Military, one would quake in the presence of the most-junior officer. Half way through my career, it was commonplace to belly up to the bar with those officers several ranks your senior…the presumption being that, by virtue of their rank, education, and experience, they were, indeed, experts to be respected, not only for their rank but also for their extensive knowledge base on areas of mutual endeavor.

The very same might be said of experts within the medical field, as well as experts on international issues…the presumption being that these experts have had extensive hands-on experience complimented by journalistic forays in publishing.

During my stint in the educational arena, I was introduced to many “experts” in various interests of the education process. It became very interesting, and somewhat curious, that many of these experts, claiming decades upon decades of experience, indeed had actually stood before a classroom of kids for months and months. Perhaps 90 to 99% of their long-term experience had been within the clinical environments of publishing and administration.

So it is, Maureen…just as former VP to the Sr Bush, Dan Quayle, once claimed the expert badge in Military affairs (despite his 6-year hitch in the Indiana Guard, attaining the rank of Sergeant), anyone, anytime, anywhere can lay claim to expertise in anything.

Would anyone like an expert badge? I have a few spares in my drawer.

parent

July 8th, 2010
9:04 pm

@hs teacher, you most certainly need to choose another profession, I hope to God you never taught one of my children, they are all very special to me and my heart. Quite frankly, you don’t have a clue and as a teacher don’t deserve respect as an educator, keep beating your own drum somewhere else, but please keep your litany off the schooled blogs, your words have no merit.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
9:36 pm

@ Maureen – Your experiences in no way compare to what I challenge you. Are you scared to try? Just think of it as a way to advance your career….

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
9:41 pm

@ Cobb Mom -

First of all, what I did in my post that you refer to is ask questions, that is all. I was not mean. I was not accusatory. The original post was incomplete and I asked questions, period.

You, on the other hand, seem to take the low road and personally attack me. You don’t know me at all.

And, you take the extreme as you, ” think of the children who have missed hours and hours of instruction locked in seclusion rooms, begging to get out.”

Finally, you need not worry about me teaching in Cobb County or living in Cobb County or even driving through Cobb County. I couldn’t handle the environment where the remains of those stickers are in the textbooks that said “evoluition is ONLY a theory.”

Theresa Edwards

July 8th, 2010
9:51 pm

Maureen,
Stop trying to rationalize with people who have it already ingrained on there brains that hitting or harming children is ok.

I am just one of the many parents who fought for this ban and our work is still not done we now must BAN CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.

I am a parent of seven children, and I am also one of the many parents who can tell you first hand that our children are being harmed in Georgia’s public schools for the simplest of things. Dropping a pencil more than one time=20-30 minutes locked in a dark closed room, refuse to eat a cup full of chunky peanut butter(BTW that will cause you to vomit)=having your five year old little arms pulled up behind your back so severely that it causes internal contusions. I DO NOT have to physically strike any of my children nor do I have to lock them in a closed dark room to get compliance or respect from my children.
There are other ways to work and discipline children than harming them or by physically hitting them.
I am also the parent who has spent hours working in the classroom, and do respect the amount of work that GOOD Teachers do, but I also know how teachers take their fustration and anger out on the children. these are the teachers that we must deal with, and remove-if we can’t remove them than at least we have something now on the books that will prevent them from harming any more children.

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
9:58 pm

@ Cobb Mom

Yes, I asked a number of questions to the parent of a special needs child. Her post was incomplete. So, I asked a number of questions.
You on the other hand, seem to enjoy attacking personally. You don’t know me. You obviously don’t even understand me. Yet, you jump to conclusions and accuse me of a “lack of compassion” and other things.
You also put words in my mouth. I never said,” children with special needs are bad and in need of additional/better parenting…” Where did I write that? No where. It seems that Cobb County parents need to take a reading class (how’s that for broad generalizations!).
As a parent of any type of children, there is one lesson everyone needs to learn – and that is when it is time to stop resisting. What if YOUR child is confronted by police when they are 15 years old. Something happens. Then what? You never taught your child to stop struggling when they put on the cuffs? You never taught your child to just cooperate and fight the battle later? Where is that lesson???? Even a 7 year old can and should be taught to stop fighting especially when it comes to injuring themselves. Of course, I am referring to a child that has the capacity to understand this, so don’t just to another odd-ball conclusion here..
Finally, you need now worry about me teaching in Cobb County, living in Cobb County, traveling through Cobb County, etc. I would never desire to be anywhere there are remains of the stickers in the science books that state, “evolution is ONLY a theory.”
One of the best teachers EVER was doing what her boss told her to do – patrol the halls between classes to enforce school rules (no cell phones, no hats, etc.). A student walked right by her with his hat on and she asked him to remove it. He looked at her and laughed and continued walking. She followed him a few meters and repeated her request. He ignored her. So, she took the hat off of him and said he can get it after school. This high school male of over 200 pounds make a full body tackle of this 52 year old woman, took his hat, and spit on her. The result was that this teacher got a reprimand letter in her personnel file and the student got NOTHING.
As a parent, what do YOU suggest for a teacher to do for discipline? Come on. Think of something. Maureen could not or would not. To summarize, in GA, teachers cannot touch, hit, say any hurtful, restraint, isolate, etc. Yet a student can do ALL of those things to a teacher with little concern of repercussion. What is YOUR great idea for discipline in schools?

HS Teacher

July 8th, 2010
10:00 pm

Cobb Mom –

Yes, I asked a number of questions to the parent of a special needs child. Her post was incomplete. So, I asked a number of questions.
You on the other hand, seem to enjoy attacking personally. You don’t know me. You obviously don’t even understand me. Yet, you jump to conclusions and accuse me of a “lack of compassion” and other things.
You also put words in my mouth. I never said,” children with special needs are bad and in need of additional/better parenting…” Where did I write that? No where. It seems that Cobb County parents need to take a reading class (how’s that for broad generalizations!).
As a parent of any type of children, there is one lesson everyone needs to learn – and that is when it is time to stop resisting. What if YOUR child is confronted by police when they are 15 years old. Something happens. Then what? You never taught your child to stop struggling when they put on the cuffs? You never taught your child to just cooperate and fight the battle later? Where is that lesson???? Even a 7 year old can and should be taught to stop fighting especially when it comes to injuring themselves. Of course, I am referring to a child that has the capacity to understand this, so don’t just to another odd-ball conclusion here..
Finally, you need now worry about me teaching in Cobb County, living in Cobb County, traveling through Cobb County, etc. I would never desire to be anywhere there are remains of the stickers in the science books that state, “evolution is ONLY a theory.”
One of the best teachers EVER was doing what her boss told her to do – patrol the halls between classes to enforce school rules (no cell phones, no hats, etc.). A student walked right by her with his hat on and she asked him to remove it. He looked at her and laughed and continued walking. She followed him a few meters and repeated her request. He ignored her. So, she took the hat off of him and said he can get it after school. This high school male of over 200 pounds make a full body tackle of this 52 year old woman, took his hat, and spit on her. The result was that this teacher got a reprimand letter in her personnel file and the student got NOTHING.
As a parent, what do YOU suggest for a teacher to do for discipline? Come on. Think of something. Maureen could not or would not. To summarize, in GA, teachers cannot touch, hit, say any hurtful, restraint, isolate, etc. Yet a student can do ALL of those things to a teacher with little concern of repercussion. What is YOUR great idea for discipline in schools?

Dr. John Trotter

July 8th, 2010
10:08 pm

Maureen, I agree with HS Teacher. When you have some real life experiences in Georgia schools, then you can speak with some authority. Until then, your words, quite frankly, are rather hollow as far as how a school should be run. Everyone can have an opinion — even about the Super Bowl game — but if you haven’t been down on the field and played in the Super Bowl (I certainly have not), then your (and my) opinions are rather shallow. I will pay much more attention to what Hines Ward says about the strategy of a Super Bowl game than what Mark Bradley says. Hines has been there; Mark just “opinionates” (I like this word!) from the sideline. I used to opine; now I want to opinionate. Sounds more hip-hoppish, eh? Like confusurate and conversate. I love it!

Smarterthana5thgrader

July 8th, 2010
10:21 pm

The author of this blog has now defined herself as the most bed-wetting liberal around.

Parent

July 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

I am so glad to see this ban and these rules in place! IT IS ABOUT TIME!

Teachers, I don’t care what your excuse is. If you think it is OK to put my 3 year old child with cerebral palsy in a rifton chair because she kept getting up all the time, then you need to get another job. And if you think it is OK to do this to my child without asking or involving me, then we have a problem. It is NOT OK to restrain these kids and not talk to us parents.

The kids getting put in these rooms and given these restraints are kids with brain injuries and other real disabilities. They are not bad kids. They are disabled. There is a difference. Most parents of special needs kids want to do whatever they can for their kids and want to be involved.

This is a fair warning to all you teachers out there who think it is OK to abuse kids with disabilities, your number is up. Parents are fighting back. We are the voices to these kids and will do whatever we have to in order to fight for them to have a good education like everyone else.

College Professor

July 8th, 2010
10:39 pm

Maureen,

Your linking strong academic achievement in other states and in other countries to the absence of paddling is inane. The main reason children perform well in school is their parents fulfill their responsibilities as parents. And I don’t want to hear the usual blather and excuses about how and why poor parents can’t fulfill their responsibilities.

By the way, I oppose both isolation and paddling. But I strongly favor rigorous teacher-imposed discipline on school children, and I don’t care about the rights the ACLU and similar groups have invented for them that make disciplining them impossible.

Some suggestions for disciplining high school students include the following (but are certainly not limited to these).

Detention after school—and I don’t want to hear about students missing the bus or being late for work.

Detention on Saturday–and I don’t want to hear about their jobs or their rights.

Suspension and expulsion–and again I don’t want to hear about their rights.

Service at the school after hours working on the janitorial or landscaping crews–and I don’t want to hear the excuses why they couldn’t do this.

Finally, the legislature could pass a law linking school behavior to obtaining and retaining a driver’s license.

Larry Major

July 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

@HS Teacher, How many high school kids did you find it necessary to paddle in the last three years?

Logical consequences

July 8th, 2010
11:20 pm

“The use of physical restraint is prohibited except in those situations in which students are an imminent danger to themselves or others and when the student is not responsive to less intensive de-escalation techniques.”

Student starts destroying computer equipment. Thousands of dollars of computer equipment. He’s not posing a threat to a student, a teacher, or himself. The child is merely venting his frustration by destroying thousands of dollars of computer equipment.

If the teacher restrains him from doing so, under this law, the teacher is violating the law. If the teacher promptly informs administration, and continues to give him verbal commands or other verbal instructions to stop, which are proving to be completely ineffective, the teacher is following the policy and therefore can’t be held liable for not following the policy.

So we have created a law that would allow a child in a fit of anger to destroy thousands of dollars of equipment, and the very best action a teacher can take, in order to not open themselves up to the possibility of violating restraint law, is to allow him to do it.

And the entire time the process is happening, the student is telling the teacher he knows the teacher can’t put their hands on him without getting fired.

Maureen, what would you advise a teacher to do in that situation? Restrain, or not restrain?

Logical consequences

July 8th, 2010
11:38 pm

An angry, defiant child is standing oven a $2,000 laptop with a can of soda in his hand. He is posing no physical threat to himself, the teacher, or his classmates. If the teacher restrains the child, and prevents the child from pouring soda on the laptop, the teacher is in violation of the law and opens themselves up to all kinds of liability.

If the teacher responds verbally, the child exhibits the same defiance they have shown during the entire episode and the while telling the teacher that she will be fired if she touches him, and proceeds to destroy the laptop, which of course will subject the child to becoming part of the criminal justice system.

What do you do Maureen? What specifically would you do?

Thank you College Professor

July 8th, 2010
11:58 pm

“Maureen: Two bloggers have asked you to propose disciplinary alternatives to isolation and paddling, which you oppose.”

“How would you discipline an unruly, disruptive student?”

Thank you College Professor for exposing Maureen. Why more bloggers don’t do it is completely beyond me. Maureen comes on here and lectures teachers about “teacher quality” but anytime you ask her specifically to walk the walk and tell us what she would do, she can’t give a simple straightforward answer.