Iowa Board of Ed is Completely Out-of-Step With Reality. See Comments to the Article: Three Schools Are Cited for Using Restraints

In an article by the Des Moines Register about 3 schools being cited for using restraint on kids is interesting not so much for the article which contains the typical talking points, but for the comments.

Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Complaints about the overuse of “seclusion and restraint” prompted members of the Iowa Board of Education in 2008 to limit how and when teachers can place children in seclusion rooms and the Board of Education decided that it was in their authority to limit teachers 14th amendment right to self-protection and the protection of others by unlawfully limiting what types of restraint methods teachers can use.

Since the rules were tightened in 2008, at least three districts have broken them, state records show.

The children in each case were mentally disabled, the records show. Iowa Department of Education officials ordered staff training and other “corrective” actions.

Details about the violations and who committed them are vague because education department officials refused to provide copies of complaints against the school districts.

The department’s rulings, which are made public, show:

• A substitute teacher in a small school district dragged a boy across a carpeted floor to a timeout area in the boy’s classroom. Education department officials refused to identify the district, which “was so small that anybody in that community would know which child was being referred to,” said Thomas Mayes, an Iowa Department of Education attorney.

• A Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson High School teacher used physical force to punish a disruptive student, Mayes said. The education department’s ruling excluded the teacher’s name and details of the offense, which Mayes described as “abusive.”

• A Creston teacher strapped Tracy Terrell’s son, Storm, into a chair with a seatbelt to control him during the 2009-10 school year when his two teacher aides were absent.

The district also failed to find a substitute teacher when one of his two required teacher aides was chronically absent because of an illness, a violation of the boy’s mandatory special education plan.

A third violation occurred when Storm’s teacher put him on a low-calorie diet without permission from his parents.

Storm Terrell, 14, weighs 260 pounds. He has cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. He also cannot speak.

The boy has injured school employees in five incidents, state records show.

He displays “a variety of behavioral problems that present a danger to himself and others,” school officials said in state records.

School officials have agreed to train special education employees in the proper use of seclusion and restraint and student health plans.

State officials also ordered Creston school leaders to make up for the “free appropriate public education” that Storm missed each time one of his teacher aides was absent. An arrangement has yet to be worked out between school officials and Storm’s parents.

Comments to this story (none of them are from us). We have only selected a few and invite you to follow the link and read all comments for yourself.

Urbandaleguy wrote:

Replying to kwg020:
I applaud the teachers who used innovative ideas including the seat belt to put some restrictions on this boy. I also assume he has some full time aids to monitor his bhavior and be close to him to put limitations on how far he can go? Yes? No? I did not see you presenting the good kids point of view on this problem. There is nothing close to fair and balanced in this story. But, that’s normally the way. If everyone was good there would be no story. However, in this case, their side was totally left out. You guys need to open your eyes. kwg

impavid wrote:

I’m sad the boy got dealt a tough hand and I’m sure it’s a challenge to raise him but he’s 260 pounds and has injured 5 teachers in rages! How long before another teacher or god forbid student is seriously injured or possibly killed? It’s not outside the realm
of possibility. He could easily break a child’s neck or cause traumatic brain injury.

When did seat belts become abusive? The fact is, it appears these officials felt the seat bellt was to protect him and others. There is nothign abusive abotu that.

I suppose if a mental health professional puts an out of controlled mental patient in a padded room or in a staright jacket to protect him / her or others, that is abuse also?

uniqueonetwo wrote:
This boy should not be in public school because it’s not really safe for him and those around him. The fact that not all mentally challenged kids CAN conform socially nor have a grasp on their emotions that control thim is exactly why they shouldn’t be in public school.

madoak wrote:

I personally believe if children are so severely handicap and uncontrollable that they harm other people then they need to be to be placed in a special facility until they can be managed in a public school.

dotspacedot wrote:

Replying to apacheyukon:
this might not be the case here but some parents just use the school system as a babysitter. My wife is a special ed. teacher and has been since 1992 she has been hit kicked spit on and peed on. how much does a teacher have to take. the parents said this is just there behavior. I love these kids but there is some kids should not be in public schools. I hope storm does well.

Then again, it’s state mandated kids after the age of 7 must attend school. What do you do when you can’t enroll them in a special needs school b/c they are filled up?

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