View Full Version : This story made me sick.


sarahsweets
08-04-15, 03:10 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/04/us/aclu-disabled-students-handcuffed-lawsuit/

I cant even believe this crossed the mind of an adult in a classroom of kids with disabilities. More training and education is needed across the country! This could have been me. Having been treated as a bad kid with no goals or drive, and having suffered meltdowns in school, I am sure the wrong person would have treated me this way.

Pilgrim
08-04-15, 03:51 PM
Is hate to be that guy.

Flory
08-04-15, 04:07 PM
I'm still so disgusted by this :(

dvdnvwls
08-04-15, 06:35 PM
Many years ago, I was in a situation (luckily only one child not a classroom) where a 7-year-old boy was doing his best to hit me. I decided to put my hand on top of his head till he stopped, because that way he couldn't reach anymore. :)

My little experience included some lessons for me, but also raises some questions.

First, looking back on how it happened, in the few minutes leading up to the incident, I made several newbie-teacher mistakes that (metaphorically only) "backed him into a corner" - basically he could do what I was asking, or he could hit me, but there wasn't really another way out. Leaving a little kid with no real choice, and then having the gall to blame him for the result, is not very smart.

But in a class full of other children, things might get interesting. What should the teacher do? "Not that", says everyone. All right - fair enough - not that. Now what?

Luvmybully
08-04-15, 06:53 PM
Many years ago, I was in a situation (luckily only one child not a classroom) where a 7-year-old boy was doing his best to hit me. I decided to put my hand on top of his head till he stopped, because that way he couldn't reach anymore. :)

My little experience included some lessons for me, but also raises some questions.

First, looking back on how it happened, in the few minutes leading up to the incident, I made several newbie-teacher mistakes that (metaphorically only) "backed him into a corner" - basically he could do what I was asking, or he could hit me, but there wasn't really another way out. Leaving a little kid with no real choice, and then having the gall to blame him for the result, is not very smart.

But in a class full of other children, things might get interesting. What should the teacher do? "Not that", says everyone. All right - fair enough - not that. Now what?


This is where giving the child the opportunity to move is very helpful. If they have reached the point of out of control, movement can help get it back. For a 7 year old.

When my daughter was that age, her teacher had an arrangement with a teacher down the hall. When my child was reaching her limit, she would take a "note" to that other teacher. Got her out of the classroom. Let her move a bit.

It worked very well for her.

Luvmybully
08-04-15, 06:54 PM
My God Sarah, this is disturbing on so many levels.

dvdnvwls
08-04-15, 07:02 PM
I am to some small extent sympathetic to the teacher guy. He screwed up, badly. It seems to me that he must have made several wrong moves, to get those kids' behaviour to where it ended up. His "solution" was his biggest wrong move of all, obviously. But I've made some stupid moves on the job, too.

My father (who is no longer with us), a farm boy born in the 1920s, still remembered when a teacher tying a child into his chair at school was not that unexpected. That doesn't make it right, but it might give this discussion a slightly broader focus. Note, though, that the teachers doing that were not police officers and were not (in addition to the other problems with this whole thing) misusing handcuffs, and I expect were much less scary over all.

Luvmybully
08-04-15, 07:38 PM
I am to some small extent sympathetic to the teacher guy. He screwed up, badly. It seems to me that he must have made several wrong moves, to get those kids' behaviour to where it ended up. His "solution" was his biggest wrong move of all, obviously. But I've made some stupid moves on the job, too.

My father (who is no longer with us), a farm boy born in the 1920s, still remembered when a teacher tying a child into his chair at school was not that unexpected. That doesn't make it right, but it might give this discussion a slightly broader focus. Note, though, that the teachers doing that were not police officers and were not (in addition to the other problems with this whole thing) misusing handcuffs, and I expect were much less scary over all.

It has been 24 years since I've been in school for early childhood education, but there was NOT enough education on kids that fell outside the "norm".

Working in a severe/profound handicapped (the term is constantly changing, but that is what is was back then) school, for 8-22 year olds that were unable to be mainstreamed, was eye opening about how lacking the standard ways of dealing with kids really were.

dvdnvwls
08-04-15, 07:54 PM
It has been 24 years since I've been in school for early childhood education, but there was NOT enough education on kids that fell outside the "norm".

Working in a severe/profound handicapped (the term is constantly changing, but that is what is was back then) school, for 8-22 year olds that were unable to be mainstreamed, was eye opening about how lacking the standard ways of dealing with kids really were.

I did some training at a well-regarded local college to become an ESL teacher for adults. There was never even the tiniest hint that my future students might not all be the same in terms of learning. We had some instruction on basic sensitivity to cultural issues, but that was it.

Now, that was aimed toward teaching adults, so I guess the issue of coercion etc is a little less pressing - but really, no coverage at all, not even a passing mention of "You might have students who are outside the norm"?

Maybe my short ESL-teaching course merely highlights one of the main difficulties - there's always too much course work to handle, always too little time to do it, always pressure on administrators to make courses more popular and accessible by cutting things out, and so on.

BellaVita
08-04-15, 10:58 PM
Absolutely disgusting.

sarahsweets
08-05-15, 03:19 AM
I think what is most disturbing is this guy isnt a teacher! He is a cop. He is not a teacher and has no business acting like one.

dvdnvwls
08-05-15, 03:28 AM
I think what is most disturbing is this guy isnt a teacher! He is a cop. He is not a teacher and has no business acting like one.

According to the article he was always a teacher and only joined the police force later.

stef
08-05-15, 03:31 AM
I don't know which is worse, the fact that this is so obviously wrong for an adult to restrain a small child in handcuffs; or that the school did not seem to provide ANY training, or ok first of all, a police officer in a disclipinary role in an elementary school? really?

sarahsweets
08-05-15, 03:54 AM
According to the article he was always a teacher and only joined the police force later.
Right but he should have been trained on how to handle difficult kids as an officer now that he isnt a teacher anymore. Dont get me wrong, I used to teach preschool many moons ago and I know now that I too made a lot of mistakes with how I handled "problem" kids. Part of the reason I struggled was because I didnt receive any training on how to handle kids mid-meltdown. I was briefly trained and thrown into running a pre-k class at the age of 20 and was very much winging it. This was 20 years ago when there was less known about adhd. Now though, there are no excuses for not training teachers and staff, especially in a special ed, kids with disabilities environment.

Flory
08-05-15, 08:19 AM
I think teachers /cops or whatever should keep their f**king hands off of children ....unless there's any risk to the child or other people.

There is absolutely no excuse for this in the 21st century NONE

TygerSan
08-05-15, 09:01 AM
What if the kid is actively trying to strike the teacher? What are the adults supposed to do when the child is already so far gone they have no self control left?

I understand completely that the choice to handcuff a young child is a terrible choice but a child striking an adult and/or running away can be dangerous also. Especially since in most places schools are "en loco parentis" meaning that administration has some responsibility for the kid during school hours. I am ambivalent at best about having school resource officers around. I think that things can work out well if they understand children, but stupid things happen if they don't.

Lunacie
08-05-15, 10:14 AM
I think all teachers, especially those who work in special ed settings, but ALL
of them really, need to read Dr. Ross Greene's book Lost At School.

He has some concrete ideas on how to work with kids to prevent them from
having a meltdown by giving them more input and more control. It doesn't
make sense to teach students to take orders from teachers and then tell
them that they need to be responsible for their own behavior.

We didn't have much interaction with the school resource officer at our local
school, but my granddaughter spent a lot of time shut into a small room with
the teacher and counselor filming her meltdown and commenting on it.

Must have been a nightmare for her, because she still freaks out when someone
tries to corner her or shut her in a room.

She did have some interaction with the resource officer at the school for kids
with behaviorial problems ... though she wouldn't have those problems if the
teacher at the local school had a better handle on working with her students.

Stevuke79
08-05-15, 11:10 AM
Is hate to be that guy.

The officer or the kid?

It sounded like you meant the officer, but I'd rather be the officer than the kid.

The officer will be fine.

He might lose his job, go to jail, face public humiliation.. but he will heal and move on, just fine.

Stevuke79
08-05-15, 11:22 AM
I don't think this has anything to do with ADHD or children with disabilities.

This was a misguided and sick man who was put in a position of authority and abused his power, probably got his rocks off, and broke the law.

He exceeded his role and broke the law in doing so and now he will face federal charges. That the child he did this to had ADHD, doesn't say much to me.

What if the kid is actively trying to strike the teacher? What are the adults supposed to do when the child is already so far gone they have no self control left?

That's a good question. The problem isn't that the officer restrained the child and intervened for the safety of the faculty and students. That was his job.

The problem, as I understand from the article was two fold:
1. He disciplined the child. That's not his job.
2. He restrained the child using a mechanical restraining device - that's not legal, and those are the source of the federal charges.


What was the officer supposed to do? For one he should have restrained the child with his bare hands and kept him in a room with someone to watch over him (potentially the officer himself if he wasn't a very sick man) until his parents arrive.

I understand completely that the choice to handcuff a young child is a terrible choice but a child striking an adult and/or running away can be dangerous also. Especially since in most places schools are "en loco parentis" meaning that administration has some responsibility for the kid during school hours. I am ambivalent at best about having school resource officers around. I think that things can work out well if they understand children, but stupid things happen if they don't.

That's true (the bold). And if you don't know how to or are unable to restrain a child with your bare hands, and keep him in a room safely until his parents arrive, .. that's ok,.. and if you don't understand the line between "restraint" and "discipline", .. that's also fine, .. I bet that most adults wouldn't be sure what to do or might not be able to do it.

But if you're one of those adults, that means that you are not qualified to be a school resource officer. And if you happen to BE the school resource officer, it's YOUR JOB to know that, and you are accountable for any crimes you committed just because you simply didn't know what else to do.

Stevuke79
08-05-15, 11:39 AM
I think teachers /cops or whatever should keep their f**king hands off of children ....unless there's any risk to the child or other people.

There is absolutely no excuse for this in the 21st century NONE

This! Sick ****! G****** F***s!!!!

dvdnvwls
08-05-15, 01:04 PM
Right but he should have been trained on how to handle difficult kids as an officer now that he isnt a teacher anymore. Dont get me wrong, I used to teach preschool many moons ago and I know now that I too made a lot of mistakes with how I handled "problem" kids. Part of the reason I struggled was because I didnt receive any training on how to handle kids mid-meltdown. I was briefly trained and thrown into running a pre-k class at the age of 20 and was very much winging it.

I am fully aware that something "should" have changed since then. And that there ought to be no excuse for someone like this to be in a classroom, anywhere.

But the reality is that a lot of people are thrown into running a class (or thrown into being in charge of children in some way) with inadequate training or even none at all. Until school administrators are willing to spend the money and willing to change hiring practices, this is not going to change. Oh, sure, things will suddenly be somewhat better in the immediate vicinity of that school, but overall no one will really change much of anything unless forced.

dvdnvwls
08-05-15, 01:06 PM
... if you don't know how to or are unable to restrain a child with your bare hands, and keep him in a room safely until his parents arrive, .. that's ok,.. and if you don't understand the line between "restraint" and "discipline", .. that's also fine, .. I bet that most adults wouldn't be sure what to do or might not be able to do it.

But if you're one of those adults, that means that you are not qualified to be a school resource officer. And if you happen to BE the school resource officer, it's YOUR JOB to know that, and you are accountable for any crimes you committed just because you simply didn't know what else to do.

You're absolutely right about all this. And we here all know it. How do we brain-transplant this obvious truth into school administrators?

Unmanagable
08-05-15, 01:25 PM
I am fully aware that something "should" have changed since then. And that there ought to be no excuse for someone like this to be in a classroom, anywhere.

But the reality is that a lot of people are thrown into running a class (or thrown into being in charge of children in some way) with inadequate training or even none at all. Until school administrators are willing to spend the money and willing to change hiring practices, this is not going to change. Oh, sure, things will suddenly be somewhat better in the immediate vicinity of that school, but overall no one will really change much of anything unless forced.

I've avoided this thread because it triggers a lot of stuff inside. It reminds me of some of the BS I witnessed while working at a vocational rehab facility with students age 15 and up.

It had it's own police force, with some really power hungry and angry officers who hadn't worked out well in other arenas. There were sensitivity, diversity, disability awareness, and safe restraints courses being taught constantly, policies, procedures, etc. all put into place to supposedly protect others.

However, the place was eat up with people who didn't give a damn about the compassion, concern, and care of another human, they were there for their paycheck and didn't care who they stepped on to get it, be it students or staff. Many employees angry about their work status taking it out on students. Power trippers tripping like a mofo as soon as the boss is away. Not all of it was done via physical force. A lot of it was done via what they chose to write in reports, etc. F'n nightmarish conditions that crushed my spirit in many ways.

I was one that spoke up and tried to address it through the very policies written to protect me as an employee. Then I got taken down via them sucking the life right out of me, and I resigned. The only other person who walked to the admin office with me to support my claims and proof took her own life last year. I'm sickened at the thought of how much goes on and how many look the other way.

Flory
08-05-15, 06:20 PM
This! Sick ****! G****** F***s!!!!

Complete g*****e f***
Pahahaha

aeon
08-05-15, 07:22 PM
Couldn’t get his power and control rocks off as a teacher dominating children, so...

He became a cop, seeking the ultimate humiliation of a child, with handcuffs too...

I wonder, was it worth it? :eyebrow:

sarahsweets
08-11-15, 02:12 AM
I guess maybe I should have examined if this would be triggering for me as well and I guess it is a little bit. Having had my own serious interactions with authority figures, some that were traumatic, I really thought that here on addf more people would be "on the side" of the child. It seems like some people, especially former teachers or caregivers seem to defend in theory this officers use of force and are justifying the circumstances behind it. IMO it is never ok. I dont care if he used to be a teacher, and I dont care how out of hand vocally and petulantly he may have been-if he was hitting,biting,kicking,punching other staff or students, or himself he still didnt need that kind of intervention nor that kind of negotiating with the cop during class. Kids in special needs classes have IEP's that can address frequent meltdowns, and schools have plans in place for what to do. When my son was in 5th grade there was a boy with severe adhd and emotional issues and when he showed meltdown signs, the teacher's aid and guidance counselor had different things to help in calm down like stress balls, soothing talking,redirection etc. This didnt always work and on occasion he was removed from the classroom, by force( picking him up with the school nurse) and walked down to her office where he could call mom. I wasnt even thrilled with that idea but once he was on his feet outside the room he walked, begrudgingly down the hall. I know this cant always work but surely a cop in a classroom with special needs kids acting like this can never be defended.

peripatetic
08-11-15, 02:34 AM
there is no way i'm buying that a grown man, let's say of average build, felt "placed in danger" or that he was saving the child himself and others he was placing in danger by kicking and not following instructions. i also don't buy that someone trained in police work and classroom management/working with children was left with only one option to ensure everyone's safety: physically assault and traumatize a 52 pound, 3.5 foot tall, eight year old child by handcuffing him in such a vulnerable and exposing position (looks like how you'd restrain someone for interrogation).

i call ********. he wanted to teach the kid a lesson (who's boss) by punishing him in a painfully and dramatically physical and emotionally shaming way.

i'm sure he did teach the child a lesson though; namely, that there exist people who will abuse their physical and professional power to exploit your weaknesses without understanding of or compassion for your circumstances, and then have the audacity to "justify" it by saying they're actually protecting you from yourself.

hopefully another lesson will be learned when his parents, with the help of the aclu, sue the **** outta that guy.

people should NOT be putting their hands on children like this and if that's the only way they can manage a child with special needs/adhd/etc, then they shoudn't be allowed to manage those children.

TygerSan
08-11-15, 11:08 AM
I'm in very close relationships with teachers, administrators and special educators and will fully admit that those relationships color my opinion a little bit.

The fact that this man habitually handcuffed kids is awful. And teachers and staff do burn out due to crappy systems, limited support, etc.

A kid can absolutely be dangerous to a teacher. Not saying it happens often, but it is possible. It is also entirely plausible that teachers and staff escalate situations to that point rather than dealing effectively with the problem.

Kids throw desks, chairs, etc. They can kick for effect. A kindergartner who pushes past a teacher and runs out the front door of the school these days? The teacher could be in for a world of hurt if they physically stop the student, but equally so if they let the kid run out the front door. There is no easy answer and the kid and the teacher are equally screwed.

Teaching is really hard, especially frustrated kiddos who have reached boiling point working within a system they simply can't deal with day in day out. I know teachers and aides who have burned out completely. Teachers who put up with abuse from students and lack of support from staff and admin that if it occurred in a family relationship, we would be telling them to run away. And honestly, there is a point at which they probably should do just that, lest they start doing things like handcuffing third graders to desks.

It's scary because teachers are very much in a role of authority over kids. They wield a significant amount of power also. But they are also, to a certain extent, powerless as well.

Lunacie
08-11-15, 11:37 AM
Teachers don't just have lack of support, their leaders sometimes won't even
consider their recommendations.

Except for the last SE teacher at our local school, we could see in each and
every IEP meeting that the staff wanted to do things differently but could not
speak out with the principal sitting right there.

That last teacher ... just didn't like my granddaughter, so didn't try to work
with her. I don't think she had any business teaching a SE class, or any kids really.

The good SE teacher from the primary school asked to be switched with
that SE teacher from the elementary school so she could continue to work
with my granddaughter ... but of course the principal refused that request. GAH!

Unmanagable
08-11-15, 12:09 PM
I'd like to hear more experiences regarding how an individual takes on the whole system in a successful way that ensures needs will be met in the safest and healthiest manner possible.

How does one go about being heard, much less actually listened to within the system, as if it were an equal playing ground?

Been there, tried that, against some power hungry a** holes who had no interest in anything other than covering their own a** and maintaining their image.

This was within a place that already has all the neat and properly worded textual/policy/procedural framework in place that would indicate it should be very safe as well as successful.

However, what actually happens behind closed doors is another story. People willing to actually speak up are very few and far between, mostly in order to save their jobs. The attention shifts from individual safety to paycheck safety really quickly in these places. It's a very unhealthy and vicious cycle that takes down more people than it helps, from my experience.

Pilgrim
08-11-15, 05:31 PM
I don't know which is worse, the fact that this is so obviously wrong for an adult to restrain a small child in handcuffs; or that the school did not seem to provide ANY training, or ok first of all, a police officer in a disclipinary role in an elementary school? really?

Don't know if this is relevant but they wouldn't do it here. When I went to school, which wasn't that long ago( I think) the headmaster would discipline you. And trust me he didn't hold back. Or what was worse your parents were called, I was in for a double helping.
Police never never get involved here( unless your trying to burn down the school).
That sort of restraint is not possible here. It is an interesting, difficult and galling situation.
You can't handcuff a 7 year old like that. Wtf

Tmoney
08-12-15, 08:11 AM
I agree that this was excessive. I use to teach safe restraint techniques for caregivers working with young children. We were always able to restrain a child simply by using approved techniques without the use of any devices. Never in my care was a child injured or mistreated.

To me it looks like this officer didn't know how to control this child to keep the child safe as well as other children and property around him.

Unfortunately the method he used created more tension and stress making the situation worse and ultimately traumatizing this child. So in my opinion this is unacceptable.

I can't tell you how many times I was kicked, head butted and swung at working with disadvantaged youth most of whom were diagnosed with some type of disorder. It takes a lot of patience and understanding and I can tell you from experience it is not for everybody!

I hope this young man does not grow up hating law enforcement!
I mean the child weighed 50lbs really!