Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The NPR story I listened to on the radio on the way in to school yesterday got me thinking...and a bit irritated. In my opinion, the story was not very balanced. Now, don't get me wrong. I love NPR. But, I feel the need to vent nonetheless. I vented to Wayne about it last night, and I could tell he was not so interested in this. So, I guess you can be my sounding board.

This story focused on abusive techniques (and really, most of them were quite inappropriate). The option provided as appropriate intervention was that we should not use restraint at all. I work at a special education center. I would LOVE to invite Mr. Shapiro to come join us for a day. I would like him to see that we use physical restraint as a last resort after/with verbal deescalation and when a student is going to harm themselves or someone else. Basically, I don't think I'd feel very safe if we couldn't use restraint in our school.

One of my concerns in this debate is that the public, parents specifically, could start to believe that all children receiving special education services are treated in an abusive way. If they haven't already, they may start to fear the whole idea of any use of restraint and seclusion. Fear clouds good judgment.

I just wish NPR would have offered a less sensationalized version. Or at least included times when appropriate restraint and seclusion is effective. But, you know, that wouldn't make a very interesting news story, I suppose.

What are your thoughts? OK, I'm done with my rant now. :) Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.


Deb said...

Oh I heard it too! I had some of your same reaction---feeling like it didn't represent the many times that students are appropriately and safely restrained. But I was also totally appalled at the examples given---who the heck chokes a kid to death in a restraint or puts a kid in seclusion without supervision so they hang themselves?! I hope they went to jail!

Melody Stuckey said...

Yes - I didn't focus on that too much, but the examples they gave were really horrible!