'Special needs' teachers

Pregnant educator's beating starkly shows need for better protection

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A pregnant teacher at Collins Elementary School in Augusta was injured in a scuffle between two students. She was intentionally punched. Repeatedly, according to one source. She was, in short, assaulted.

She was examined by a school nurse, who suggested she see her doctor.

There are a number of questions that arise from this troubling incident -- not the least of which is why school safety officers or local law enforcement weren't notified.

The school safety office heard about it all five days after the Jan. 20 incident, from a Chronicle reporter.

If, as the school's principal maintains, "everything was reported (to the district office) as per policy," then "policy" needs some serious adjusting. This was a crime. Adults with knowledge of that crime had an obligation to report it as such.

"I don't know why proper law enforcement (wasn't) involved," one criminal justice expert told us. "Schools do weird and wacky things. It's fairly frustrating."

To say the least. A pregnant teacher is injured enough in a crime to seek medical treatment, and no one thinks to call law enforcement of any kind?

Something is drastically wrong.

Maybe it isn't just school district policy that needs revisiting. Maybe the state law needs to change -- to enforce the principle that crimes that happen in schools are still, lo and behold, crimes.

Maybe teacher advocates need to push for better protections for them, and better reporting procedures when they're assaulted.

Maybe laws need to better reflect the need for safety and efficacy in classrooms, rather than sacrificing one more teacher to the altar of individualism.

In other words: Get the dangerous students out!

Just think of safety of life and limb as a "special need" our teachers have.

Comments (25) Add comment
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johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/04/10 - 06:51 am
0
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Some of the politically

Some of the politically correct moves of the far left make little sense. "mainstreaming" the "special ed." students is one of the more bizarre efforts. This type of incident isn't new or rare. This country has continued to decline since the left has had control of the education system. Who knew?

Riverman1
90266
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Riverman1 02/04/10 - 07:11 am
0
0
Ummm, another day of playing

Ummm, another day of playing with the term "special-needs." I'll note yesterday you were using the adjective and the hyphenated form, "special-needs" when describing the Iranian crazy man. Again, I don't know what this hang-up is that the Chronicle has playing with the term. Everyone knows special-needs is a term referring to children with handicaps. Are you making fun of the term today? Was this a special-needs student who injured the teacher? It is clearly defined in the dictionary as those who have problems learning due to various handicaps usually associated with children. Discussing yesterday's editorial, what if you had used the actual definition of special-needs and said Armadidawhatever is a handicapped child? How would that have flown? As far as today's editorial, I'm not sure, but I do know those kids need special care and education. One of our posters said his granddaughter is a special-needs child and I'll defer to him on the best way to accomplish the task. However, teachers also need to be safe. If a student is unruly, he/she shouldn't be there.

willienelson
5
Points
willienelson 02/04/10 - 08:15 am
0
0
Riverman, get some coffee and

Riverman, get some coffee and try this again. Is Rose helping you this morning? I'm just saying....

run4yrlif
2
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run4yrlif 02/04/10 - 08:41 am
0
0
I'm with riverman on this

I'm with riverman on this one. The headline for this editorial is clearly misleading, and the final sentence is just unnecessary. If this was a special needs teacher, or the kids involved were special needs students, then say so. If they weren't the use of the term is clearly incorrect.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/04/10 - 08:42 am
0
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Special needs in and of

Special needs in and of itself denotes "more than normal needs". Mainstreaming, another social planner experiment, was designed to disrupt the normal education process. It had nothing to do with "the loving concern" of our government. This is just one of many "social experiments" designed to destroy EDUCATION. An "educated populace" cannot be enslaved.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/04/10 - 08:42 am
0
0
Welcome to the Union of

Welcome to the Union of Socialist States Reformed. The new USSR. The bread and toilet tissue lines are on the way. Our leader says this "revolution" will make us stronger. He has historical data to back up his theories. Relax"comrades". Prepare to queue and inform on your neighbors. Who has more than two shoes? Who prays in their closet? Who speaks against the great leader?

Little Lamb
47861
Points
Little Lamb 02/04/10 - 09:43 am
0
0
I think the editorial writer

I think the editorial writer is overreaching when he asserts that the events constituted a crime. Two elementary students were scuffling and an adult got in the middle of it and some blows were landed. If this is a crime, then there are dozens of such crimes across America in schools every day. I am sorry for the teacher's loss, but the student committed no crime. The real crime is a school system that allows a 13-year-old child to remain in elementary school. If you can't pass the fifth grade by the time you are 13, you need to be somewhere other than in an elementary school.

Riverman1
90266
Points
Riverman1 02/04/10 - 09:51 am
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0
WillieNelson said, "Riverman,

WillieNelson said, "Riverman, get some coffee and try this again. Is Rose helping you this morning? I'm just saying...." I'm not sure what you disagree with and I don't know who Rose is, but send her my way whoever she is, I can always use some help.

egan01
0
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egan01 02/04/10 - 10:07 am
0
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The school system is afraid

The school system is afraid it will damage the little hodlum's self esteem if he is led out of the school in handcufs. Should do away with school police officers and put them all under the sheriff depy.

willienelson
5
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willienelson 02/04/10 - 10:21 am
0
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Hey, Riverman. I just thought

Hey, Riverman. I just thought you rambled and weren't very clear. That's not like you.

Little Lamb
47861
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Little Lamb 02/04/10 - 11:01 am
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The editorial writer said

The editorial writer said this:

This was a crime. Adults with knowledge of that crime had an obligation to report it as such.

I disagree. The appropriate person to file a complaint with police would be the victim. The fact that she did not shows she does not think a crime had been committed.

Now, if a bystander in good conscience were to have filed a complaint on the teacher's behalf, then well and good. The police could have investigated and there would have been a decision made on whether to indict. But, once again, if the teacher did not wish to press charges, there would be no prosecution.

What I don't like is The Augusta Chronicle's calling for policies and laws requiring such reporting. The laws are punitive enough already. We are choking on laws. We do not need more.

Sargebaby_x
0
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Sargebaby_x 02/04/10 - 11:07 am
0
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Little Lamb sez; "I disagree.

Little Lamb sez; "I disagree. The appropriate person to file a complaint with police would be the victim."
______________________________

I don't think so, LL, but I would like to know what the law states about reporting a crime. I know in some states, maybe in Ga. as well, it is illegal to not report a crime if you are aware that one has been committed. I'll try to find the statute.

Fiat_Lux
16200
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/04/10 - 11:15 am
0
0
Repeated blows thrown

Repeated blows thrown intentionally sure sounds like criminal assault to me. If a 13-year-old can be a felon for breaking 158 windows in a school, how can it not be criminal for one to slug a pregnant teacher, in the stomach no less.

Any student who ever makes a threatening remark or gesture to a teacher or school staffer, to say nothing of laying a hand on one, should NEVER, EVER be allowed back in a public school for any reason.

If we're tired of seeing human babies grow up to be savage animals instead of decent citizens, perhaps it's time to stop letting them get away with acting like savage animals. Ya think?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/04/10 - 11:33 am
0
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Get these kids out of the

Get these kids out of the main stream schools and into alternative schools. The alternative schools should be run with military type discipline and maybe it will help a few kids. Exercise every morning, marching, walk in straight lines, yes sir, yes mam are the only acceptable responses to questions. Have them available even at the elementary level.

If there aren't enough alternative school buildings, close down a school and make it an alternative school - pick the oldest, crappy one too. Rezone the kids who want to behave & learn to one of the other schools.

lifelongresidient
0
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lifelongresidient 02/04/10 - 02:25 pm
0
0
chillen i agree, however with

chillen i agree, however with more and more of the financial burden being placed on the taxpayers(specifically the property owners) drastic steps need to be taken to make schools safe. first and foremost institute a ZERO tolerance for any infraction no matter how small that disrupts the learning process or the learning environment....it's a shame that the sorry, ill-equiped and moronic school board-lead by ms. cain that stands by with their fingers up their "you know what" consistantly sending teachers into harms way either with insufficent pay, school supplies and/or safety but all the while finding funds to build gymnasiums/football fields for schools that either turns out those that can't even read the diploma they are given or can't even meet ayp, graduate 60% of their respective senior classes or have to socially promote over 80% of students who failed the crct on more than one occurrance. clearly something needs to be done, starting with closing a number of schools, expelling all those who are violent or disruptive and immediate raise the academic standards and allowing those who can't make the grade flunk out to be raised by the very people who should be responsible for them in the first place..THE PARENTS!!!!

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 02/04/10 - 02:31 pm
0
0
Many of the thugs in school
Unpublished

Many of the thugs in school are labeled "special needs" so that they can get special services to help them stay in school so that the dropout rate doesn't cause the school to miss AYP.

slmpaquin
0
Points
slmpaquin 02/04/10 - 03:20 pm
0
0
Did we forget that a few

Did we forget that a few short years ago a teacher was assaulted by one of her special needs students? It was at Murphey Middle School. Her name was Gail Hendrick. She lay in a coma for seven years and then died in 2007. Now tell me a crime was not committed!!! Richmond County obviously did not put the proper protocols in place then to allow this to happen again. The boy only got voluntary manslaughter when she finally died. This was murder no matter how you slice it. They need better policies in place to prevent these assaults.

Fiat_Lux
16200
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/04/10 - 03:58 pm
0
0
The thing that makes a

The thing that makes a military-type alternative school so attractive is what it actually can do for a kid whose biggest problem regarding behavior and self-control is mainly the result of incompetent parenting, a dysfunctional social environment or simply a determination on their part to be antisocial. These kids can emerge with genuine skills, both social and academic, for reaching their goals successfully, and they gain self-confidence along with self-control.

I don't believe this is the answer for every special needs student by any means. Most are either too disabled or don't require much more than a safe and sheltered place to learn as much as they can. But there is a significant percentage with that broad label who would benefit immensely.

Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 02/04/10 - 04:05 pm
0
0
Try the 13 year old as an

Try the 13 year old as an adult. If intent to strike the teacher in the stomach is found-- voluntary manslaughter, if no intent--involuntary manslaughter. Either way, a tragic death occurred and it's a crime, figuratively, and literally.

Fiat_Lux
16200
Points
Fiat_Lux 02/04/10 - 05:10 pm
0
0
Nat, I have only heard rumors

Nat, I have only heard rumors about her losing her baby. Do you know for certain that this happened. If so, how far along was she?

Little Lamb
47861
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Little Lamb 02/05/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
Many posters here are jumping

Many posters here are jumping on the editorial writer's bandwagon and saying the "crime" was not reported "properly." What does "properly" mean? I still say, the most appropriate person to report a crime is the victim. Only when the victim is dead or otherwise incapacitated should third parties step in and report a crime.

In the case at hand, let's get down to brass tacks - let's get away from the PC "special needs" designation. The student is retarded. He's thirteen and cannot pass the fifth grade. If he is brought up on criminal charges of assault or feticide, what will be accomplished? A good lawyer and a paid psychiatrist will convince a judge that the student has diminished capacity to determine right and wrong, that the student was assaulted first by the other student and was confused in the melee. This tragic situation was a tantrum by a retarded thirteen year old. How is society helped by trying a retarded boy in juvenile criminal court? Just banish him from Richmond County schools and warn surrounding school systems (privately, of course) of his name and behavior.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 02/05/10 - 05:51 pm
0
0
Unlike the majority of

Unlike the majority of posters here, I actually was a substitute teacher and did special needs (you may believe there are very few who do it more than once or twice) classes. You can bet your hat and coat that if the two thugs had not been broken up and were themselves seriously injured there would have been h-e-double-hockeysticks to pay! So, she did the correct thing; and if the posters who are such experts were to go in depth before posting they would learn the teacher was struck twice AFTER the two were separated. I fully expect from experience both were back in class before the teacher. Both state and federal laws will keep them there, barring incarceration; and as for telling other schools not to accept them . . . wow! I cannot count the number of lawsuits the school and administrators would lose!

Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 02/05/10 - 08:44 pm
0
0
Let There Be Light: I don't

Let There Be Light: I don't know what term, I don't know the cause of death, nor the manner of death...It's going to be tuff getting any medical information at this point; however, I disagree with the aggravated battery charge unless the teacher's arm(s) or leg(s) were rendered useless. The DA appears to charging the 13 year old as an adult, but charging him with crimes against the teacher and not the unborn child.

Little Lamb
47861
Points
Little Lamb 02/06/10 - 09:58 am
0
0
Now wait a minute,

Now wait a minute, DStewartSr; I did not tell the Richmond County school system to tell "other schools not to accept them" as you suggested. I merely said that the Richmond County school system should "warn surrounding school systems (privately, i.e., discretely) of his name and behavior." There's a big difference.

Little Lamb
47861
Points
Little Lamb 02/06/10 - 09:57 am
0
0
Good point, Nat. You need to

Good point, Nat. You need to remember that it is common for prosecutors to "overreach" in their initial charges of criminal activity. They hope to get the accused (or his parents in this case) to plead guilty to a lesser charge. If prosecutors don't get a plea, they likely will lower the charges on their own.

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