Is it an attendance issue or bad parenting choices?
Special Needs Child Abused at School
Is it truancy or protection?
What would you do if your child came home from school and had bruises that were unaccounted for? Would you go right to the school to find out what happened? I know that if it were my child, I would want to know what was happening to my child.
In the last couple of days, a mother in Smyrna, Tennessee was faced with the fear of jail time because she would not send her child back to school where he was being beat up by fellow school children. I mean come on now, we all have been in school where someone was being picked on or where other kids were making fun and teasing other children but that level of extreme has changed from when we were children.
The other difference is that children with special needs are being targeted by other children and are coming home with bruises, marks or even emotional abuse from not only other kids but also teachers and school officials.
I for one am a mother to three beautiful special needs children. I have chosen to homeschool my children because of these types of problems. I made the decision to keep my children home where I know they are safe and can be taught the important things they need to know without other children or adults teasing them or handling them.
What becomes of the parents however who have to work or who need a few moments to themselves? The question comes then what do we do for those parents? Do we force them to quit their jobs and sit home in order to keep their kids safe because the school system failed to keep the kids safe at school? Do we make that single mom raising a special needs child to be at home around the clock now because the school couldn't concentrate on keeping children in line? What punishments do the kids who are doing these things deserve anyways?
Punishments? Separate schools? What is the solution?
What do you think that the school should do for the kids who are being harassed? Do you think that all kids with special needs should be kept separate from typical children? What are we teaching our kids?
Being a mom to special needs kids, I know how difficult it can be to keep my kids safe. I know how difficult it can be to try to make my kids feel as normal as possible. I know that I can not keep them safe at all times or that I can keep them sheltered from all possible forms of abuse or harassment. I do know however that I can limit the amount of exposure they have to any of those things.
There was this one instance where we had to take the kids to a doctor appointment on a Saturday morning. Because it was so early in the morning, we decided afterwards we would go to the local McDonalds. While my husband ordered the food I took the kids into the play area. The kids took their shoes off and went immediately to playing. It wasn't long before I seen a smaller child climb onto my oldest sons back and cover his mouth while beating him on the back. I hollered to see whose child it was and called for my son to come down. The young guy says it is his child and he didn't see anything wrong with what his child was doing. My son was covered in bruises on his back and had a hand print across his mouth from where the kid was holding his mouth shut.
We approached the manager at the McDonalds and asked if they would remove the parent and the child who caused the assult. The manager knew the man and stood talking and hanging out with the parent of the child. We got into a very heated argument over the whole scenario and when no one would do anything we made a phone call to the local police department. I do not care that the child was a young child, I do not care that McDonalds didn't want to do anything about it, I do care however that my son was injured. If I can not stand up for him or be his voice, who is?
To most people who stood by and watched, to them they see a little boy playing or rough housing with another little boy. To me, I see a little boy who obviously has seen this type of behavior and though it to be appropriate to be mean to another child who clearly has a disability. I also see a little boy who is going to grow up being a bully and will most likely end up on one of the most wanted lists. I felt sorry for this little boy when it was all done and over with. Knowing that he has to return home to a family where this behavior is clearly rewarded.
After the police made their report and spoke with the other parties involved, the McDonalds manager actually asked that we vacate the premises. They felt that there was enough of a scene and therefore would have liked for us to leave and return on another day. I was actually quite ready to leave seeing as the manager did not feel the need to do anything about the incident and when a call made to corporate didn't warrant even a phone call back, we opted to never return to this venue again.
My point is all of this is that we as parents need to protect our children from rapists, abusers and neglectors and it should not matter what age it is that the person causing the harm is. If a child is old enough to know right from wrong and we allow for the wrong behavior to continue, what are we teaching the children we are trying to protect. There is far too much crime going on in this world and children walking into schools with guns going off for us to worry about numerous incidents surrounding abuse from another child in school. If it was only a one time event and the child came home hurt then I can see the school stepping in and enforcing the attendance policy however this incident took place 4 times when the mother finally took a stand and said I am not sending my child back to school until the child is punished and the school can guarantee the safety of my child. I whole heartdly stand behind the mother on this matter as being a mother to a special needs child, or children, I know how difficult parenting already is and to add the stress from the school could be enough to make a mother or caregiver do something that they might regret later on.
Please sound off with your thoughts. I would love to hear what others have to think about this matter.