Journal of Educational Controversy

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ACLU to Argue in Federal Court on Behalf of a Third Grader with Disabilities who was Handcuffed in School: See Video Below


Editor: The Journal of Educational Controversy published a special issue in the past on the School-to-Prison Pipeline.   We pointed out that this trend to criminalize students rather than educating them has had a disproportionate impact on students of color and students with disabilities and emotional problems.  The American Civil Liberties Union has just filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two elementary school students with disabilities.  The ACLU has been showing this disturbing video below on one of the students, a third grader, who was handcuffed in school.  Following the video is the ACLU's account of it.


video


ACLU ACCOUNT OF EVENT ON THE HANDCUFFING OF A CHILD WITH DISABILITIES:


This third grader was shackled and crying out in pain for 15 minutes. He was restrained because of behavior related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a history of trauma.  A member of the school's staff videotaped the incident.
 
Students with disabilities represent 12% of public school students but are 75% of all students subjected to physical restraint at school, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
 
Students of color and students with disabilities are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline. One child in this case is Latino, and the other is African-American.
 
Law enforcement in schools must be trained on how to work with children with disabilities and trauma. Learning de-escalation skills should be as common as fire drills for schools and any law enforcement officers who serve them.

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