As I indicated in previous letters to The Chronicle, I am not an educator. However, I am the parent of a special-needs child, and am a mentor. Obviously officials have not considered the consequences of this impending decision. Are they attempting to be politically correct? Are they totally unaware of what goes on in today's classrooms? Maybe we should send them copies of articles reporting recent events of violence in the CSRA and the distress it has caused for teachers, their families and students who want to learn.
I would first like to remind our esteemed state Board of Education that there are many categories of special education. The first one is those teachers and para-pros who are dedicated to those students who are unfortunately in the severe and profound classes. If you have ever been in a severe and profound classroom, you will probably observe some very abnormal behavior. The teachers and para-pros do everything they can to stop children from hurting themselves, other children or the educators. If they cannot restrain them, what is going to prevent a child from seriously injuring himself/herself or others?
Another category is the child who has behavioral issues. This is not meant to discredit those parents who have seriously tried to control their children and work with the teachers to assist them on their children's behavior problems. Any parent can request that their child be classified as special-needs. My concern for the teacher has to do with the children whose parents think the school is the answer for their incompetence as a parent, and their lack of caring for their child's education. These children are miscreants, and I truly blame their sad upbringing.
My suggestion for unruly children: If their misbehavior would result in being put in seclusion or restrained, immediately summon the school's safety officer. Then a mandate must be in place that the parents or guardians of those children must come to the school and take the children home. We do not need to read about anymore of our educators being harmed.
I hope that the parents of severe or profoundly disabled children don't find my letter offensive. I understand your pain and concern that your children will be safe at school. To the parents who don't get involved and blame everyone except themselves: You are one of the main reasons our education system is in such turmoil.
Stephen B. McMillan