Teachers ridicule disabled boy

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by skateboy, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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  2. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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    This is very disturbing and sad. :(
  3. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Terrible way to treat a child. Hope they at least get fired.
  4. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Terrible way to treat a child. Hope they at least get fired.
  5. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    Why the hell do they need a "meeting" to decide what to do about "what action to take"? And "administrative leave" - is that paid or unpaid? This is why unions need to be done away with, and all jobs should be "at will" with very clear, no-exceptions policies for what happens in situations like this. Bullying a student for something he can't control (and the proof is there in this case) should lead to automatic termination and loss of any teaching certification.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    I call bullshit on the union thing. Not all unions act like that teachers' union in NYC that has the 'rubber room' for teachers who have been removed from the classroom. Everyone should be entitled to 'due process' even in the workplace, and even in 'at will' situations. Sometimes (not always, and probably not in this case) there are other things going on (outside of the video) that may or may not be obvious. But it needs to be done quickly, as it appears to be happening in this case.
  7. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    From a reliable source:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/recording-...mistreating-special-student/story?id=16033225

    Note that one is NOT a teacher but a paraprofessional/aide. A job that does not require a teaching certificate or a degree.

    In this not-a-tabloid story, it explains that by Alabama state law, a school employee cannot be fired on the spot by a principal. The superintendent and school board have to be involved. A decision on these two employees is scheduled to be made at a board meeting on April 9 and expected to be termination.
  8. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    It's paid.

    Just some background--in AL, up until the time of official termination, all leave must be paid. After that, pay is stopped. The employee can protest the termination, but they won't be paid in the interim (as was the case before AL passed teacher reform legislation last year).

    Ironically, it may have been the intervention of the AL teacher's union in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primaries that sparked such a strong backlash and prompted a rash of school reform measures during the lame duck session and beyond. The teacher's union backed the far-right GOP candidate, pouring two million dollars into opposing the moderate GOP candidate simply because the moderate supported school reform policies (being a former college chancellor).

    Under prior AL law, in order to get rid of a bad teacher, you had to go through a federal arbitration system. This was an extremely lengthy and expensive process, sometimes costing districts hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. During the arbitration process (which would take years), the teacher had to be paid with full benefits. Few states have such a difficult process to get rid of teachers as AL had.
    http://www.al.com/news/press-register/metro.ssf?/base/news/1243934192145370.xml&coll=3

    Not even a criminal conviction was enough to stop pay and benefits--any and all appeals had to be exhausted as well. Just fyi, a year after the article was written, that teacher was still on the payroll because of the appeals she filed.

    That's why the new rules were put into place to get rid of federal arbitration for dismissed teachers. There is still an appeals process, though. It's just now the school district isn't on the hook for pay and benefits for terminated teachers during that process.
  9. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I would add that, regardless of tenure or unions, teachers (not aides, though) are typically contract employees guaranteed employment from the beginning to end of the school year. It is difficult for both parties to break the contract in the middle. Example: a friend of mine was in the middle of a contract when her husband got a law job in another state. She requested to be allowed to leave the district in December and not complete her contract. Her request was denied because she could not be easily replaced at that point and she had to remain and finish the school year.
  10. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Well-Known Member

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    I have a relative with Down Syndrome (and like myself, a figure skating fan) and grew up with neighbours, who we were close to. Their daughter had Down Syndrome. The disgust this makes me feel are beyond words acceptible.
  11. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    That's problematic, though, innit? When you have a teacher like this one, you want to get rid of them immediately--not wait six months. It's a major cost burden for school districts to keep employed an abusive teacher (as this one was), and then pay for another salaried teacher to replace him/her. I would rather pay good teachers more than pay abusive teachers to run out their contracts.

    Even contract employees in other fields can be fired for non-performance. If you hire a consultant for a job and they do something egregious that makes it difficult to work with them or they haven't done anything to date, you can legally claim breach of contract and terminate the relationship. Same should be true for teachers.
  12. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    It depends on how the contract is written. Both schools I worked in had clauses that you could be dismissed for criminal activity or other egregious offenses in mid-contract but it did require board approval. When a teacher at our school was arrested for making sexual advances toward a student, the board met in an emergency session to dismiss him immediately. I believe that meeting took place in less than 24 hours. The teacher had not denied the behavior, though, and his court plea later was no contest. If a teacher is denying charges, then there could be an additional issue. But again, as I assume you would know, that would be dependent on how the contract is written.

    I'm not understanding how the aide has not been dismissed. They are not contract employees in districts here and, like other support staff, it is not uncommon for them to come and go in the midst of a school year.

    Given some of the moron principals I have worked for and heard about, I don't have a problem with the idea that a principal cannot dismiss someone on their own. In this case, though, it seems that a meeting could be called quickly to resolve the situation, but it appears they have chosen to wait until a regularly scheduled board session for some reason. I find that a little odd.
  13. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong, but I suspect there may be personnel issues. Finding good aides and special ed teachers is difficult. Sometimes all a school wants is a body, and they'll take almost anyone just to fill the slot.

    I wondered if that was why the principal brought the aide and teacher back after the first admin leave.

    I can see waiting to actually fire them until the next scheduled board meeting if that's only a couple weeks away. It can be hard to schedule a meeting like that faster. But I'm betting the board assumed the aide and teacher would be on leave during that time--not placed back in the classroom. The principal did acknowledge that was an error and accepted full responsibility for that.
  14. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Is it a special ed teacher, though? Or is it a teacher in a classroom he is mainstreamed in? The articles don't indicate any cognitive disability, in fact, they imply he has none.

    If this is a classroom teacher, I'm sure she can be easily replaced. There are plenty of elementary classroom teachers out of work.
  15. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I was going to ask about that as there seem to a lot of these kinds of stories popping up where it seems like the teachers have no clue as to how to handle disabled children and children with special needs but I thought you had to take special classes to be a special ed teacher.
  16. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so, my SPGN class definitely was the worst class I took at EMU and I got almost nothing out of it.

    That said, you don't need a class - or anything, really, besides a heart - to know that this isn't the way you treat any human being.

    And, yes, of course, you have to take a ton of classes on Special Education in order to be a Special Education teacher. It's an extremely tough discipline, and I am not surprised that some people can't handle it, but if that's the case then you should leave the position at the end of the school year and find a new career, not stick around and insult, hurt, and emotionally injure your students.
  17. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on the state and district. What counts as classes can be some online offerings somewhere with little actual content. And some teachers have been grandfathered in without any real qualifications.

    What I tend to see more are special ed teachers who've burned out a long time ago, and just really don't want to be there anymore but have nowhere else to go. That can be true of teachers generally, but the daily student management issues required of special ed teachers can make them prone to far more problematic behaviors given the vulnerable students they work with.

    Also, I can't think of a district offhand that has special requirements for their special ed aides. Oftentimes these are people who've barely graduated from high school, have low skill sets themselves, and have no training whatsoever. These are the people special ed kids are most in contact with, and they can be very problematic.

    We had a tutor once working with my son. He wasn't my son's aide--just a math tutor. Anyhow, he would say disparaging things to my son for having a g-tube at the time and requiring feedings. Sometimes the g-tube would make a little gurgle sound, and he would accuse my son of doing that on purpose. He would always reprimand my son for involuntary muscle movements, or other things he couldn't control. Fortunately he was reassigned quickly.

    Anyhow, all I can say is this happens far too often.

    But Pdilemma is right in that this may not have been a special ed teacher--it could have been a regular one (I thought I had read in another article the teacher was special ed, but since I can't find it now, maybe I was mistaken). And regular teachers can be really quite resistant to working with special needs kids and let that show in a myriad of ways. I think we've had more problems with regular teachers than special ed ones. Course, we moved to OK in part just so we could have stronger special ed supports. What a difference that can make.
  18. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    I have never understood teachers who just don't seem to like students very much. It really bugs me. It's like they see them almost as an inconvenience.
  19. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    I am lucky that my son's EA enjoys working with him and he loves her. I am very very lucky that our principal has a special needs background so she has advocated for us every year to ensure we have an EA for our youngest.

    Education Assistant's require at least a college diploma and they are hired by the board where I live. Our son is mainstreamed but will go into a special needs program once he starts grade 4.

    If this ever happened to my son I would have done the exact same thing as this mom. Those people should lose their jobs at the very minimum and on the personal side (slightly vindictive) I hope they are dealing with public ridicule right now for what they did to this poor kid!
  20. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    These are usually the teachers who get into the profession to have summers off. They are really easy to spot.

    The para educators at my school who work with the disabled kids are great. :)
  21. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    IME, these are the teachers who wanted to coach sports. Even easier to spot.
  22. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    A couple of years ago, I wrote an anonymous letter to the school board because of both teacher and para treatment of a with Asperger's Syndrome. They knew what his triggers were, and would deliberately put him in situations where he would go off, and encouraged other students (special and regular ed) to do the same. The third time I was at the school, I stuck a note in the kid's backpack for the parents. (I'm very, very, VERY lucky I was not caught and fired over it, because they had to know which sub did it.)

    Because of his outbursts (which, really, were artificially created), he was deemed not behaviorally able to be mainstreamed, even for part of the day. I worked with him a few times; mentally, there was nothing wrong with him. If anything, he was maybe ahead of his peers in reading and on-level in math and science.

    This kid was seven years old, and what they did to him was tantamount to torture. The schoolboard did the Catholic Solution--they broke up that little group. None of those teachers or paras were at that school next year, but they were still teaching elsewhere. In this case it worked out--none of them are teaching/para-ing now. At other schools where special ed programs were better, those behaviors were not tolerated and were "encouraged" to leave that school system.

    The problem with special ed is it really does attract the extremes--some of the best, most patient, loving people end up as special ed teachers/paras. At the same time, a lot of bullies end up in special ed because the kids can't always speak for themselves, and regular teachers don't always know what goes on/should go on in a special ed classroom, and bullies in special ed really encourage the idea that "special ed kids lie."

    It's also compounded by special kids who ARE violent/dangerous to others and themselves, and what one passerby sees as being extreme is actually necessary for safety reasons. It's a hard job, and good special ed teachers are not paid nearly enough, even though they are paid more/a bonus than regular ed teachers.
  23. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Burn out is very high in special ed. The stresses of dealing with special needs students are much higher than a regular classroom and the paperwork is a full time job all by itself.

    Burn out could lead to situations like this as well. And I know of no districts in this area that pay any more for special ed teachers than regular classroom teachers.
  24. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are. Instead of helping students struggling with math, my grade seven teacher gave us detentions. :rolleyes: In the course of our school years, everyone has a bad teacher or two, but it is heart breaking when things like happen to special needs children. They have enough to deal with.
  25. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Education assistants make about $18-$20 an hour here. Not bad...but not as much as I think they should make.

    I don't doubt burn out is high. At the school my sons are in there are 2 kids with special needs (my youngest son) and another boy. When one EA goes on break, the other watches both kids. The 2 boys can both rile each other up really bad some days. If my son has a bad day, he is really tough to manage, but the other boy is worse (the other boy has been suspended from school for half days because the school hasn't been able to manage him- luckily that hasn't happened yet with my son but it still could).

    Distraction techniques only work so far with my son, using first/then, giving him options etc etc. If he doesn't want to do something he just won't and it makes it tough for his EA.

    My biggest nightmare though is him being abused. He really struggles with verbal communication and I hope every day that it will come. If something ever happens to him...I want him to be able to tell someone. We have him on a computer, he uses pictures and he seems to be excelling with it.
  26. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    That's what teachers make here :eek: ! Education assistants make about 9/hour.
  27. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Teachers make about $25-$35 an hour. Depends if they have 4 yrs or 6 yrs of schooling. There is a minimum of about $38000 a yr in my province for 4yrs of schooling. Mind you, they do have July and August off so my math could be off.
  28. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I've seen mean or clueless classroom teachers, but I've never seen a SPED teacher behaving anything like this. We have had issues with SPED teachers who were not flexible in working with kids who both had learning disabilities or Aspergers AND who were gifted, but never, ever as depicted here.

    It seems to me that once there has been an arrest involving behavior at school or with a child that it should be LWOP after two weeks.