Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Special Needs, Education and 'The Line'

This story recently has made headlines:
School accused of putting autistic student in bag

Basically, a teacher and aide took an autistic student, and as punishment, put him in one of those drawstring bags they have in the gyms at school, drew the string up and left him in there until his mom showed up.


You read stories like this one all the time. Autistic or other special needs kids getting restrained, secluded, bizarre punishments being doled out...

How does this happen?

I understand some children are hard to handle. They are not like 'typical' kids all the time.

But at what point do teachers, administrators, caregivers decide: THIS child is less than the other children.

Would a regular student EVER be placed in a gym bag, drawn up, and left in the hallway for their mother to collect? Then why is a special education student? Are they less human? Less worthy of being treated humanely?

Where is that line?

That line that says, "It's okay to do this to THIS student, but not THIS one." The line that is drawn somewhere based on 'normal' versus 'special education'. What criteria are used to decide that what is cruel for one student is not for another?

Do they not think that kids with disabilities have feelings? That they are aware?

Or are they just taking advantage of a child that can't fight back?

These stories leave me feeling disgusted at the systems involved. How could anyone possibly defend this? Would they put their own children in bags? CPS would remove them if they did, yet the schools are defending the abusers.

There should be absolute outrage over this. We got rid of corporal punishment in (most) schools, because it is a parent's right to discipline their child, and some consider it cruel. Who would NOT consider restraint, seclusion, tying a child up in a bag CRUEL?

So. Depressing.

If you have a moment, there is a petition on Please go and sign it.


  1. I agree. Why can schools do things to children that would have parents reported to CPS? And how can people defend these actions- not immediately firing the people involved? We send our children to school to learn and to get the intervention that they need. We don't send them to school to be abused and traumatized.

  2. Aaron won't let me read stories like this because I get too upset. What people are willing to do to children is unbelievable. I really struggle with Christian charity with things like this. Maybe we should take the teachers, tie them in a bag and throw them in a river (did I just say that)?