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Parents seek solution to school disruptions

November 20, 2013

Parents of students attending Cochran Primary School voiced concern Tuesday over “disturbances” occurring during the school day that are affecting the education of third-grade students....

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(30)

Stillers

Nov-20-13 10:51 AM

LEA policy is dictated by the local Board of Directors. And, um, they are all parents.

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DJYoung

Nov-20-13 9:32 PM

Seems a very reasonable thing for a parent to be concerned about. In fact, I would find it strange if parents didn't take an active role in how their children are being educated.

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ainger5

Nov-21-13 12:47 AM

We are parents who have a 2nd grade son, a disruptive chld, in the Special Education Classroom at Cochran Elementary. We also have a 3rd grade daughter, in regular education at Cochran. Our feelings towards what is going on it mutual. For we have 2 children who struggle with these issues daily. However, just as Hipple was "targeted" our child who is in Special Education was also targeted. Furthering our chld who is in regular education was further targeted once that child told on peers and staff.

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ainger5

Nov-21-13 12:59 AM

We would like to share what had happened to our son. He was jumped at the designated bus stop area by 3 older peers. Then attacked by the district security guard after being assaulted. With witnessing parents. The district failed to make a report to the school resourcing officer. By parents request a meeting was to be held due to this incident. Days later, no meeting was held. That incident was covered up by a false suicide report. It was stated that he strangled himself with a hoody string. Our 6 yr old. However, the district failed to call 911 during that incident. We was threatened with truencies, loss of educational placement for our children, or mediation to have our children removed from the home if we did not comply with alternative placement. By referal of the district lead him being pushed in to hospitalization and given numberous unauthorized doses of medication. Furthering, the resourcing officer alledged no criminal activity was done to our son.

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ainger5

Nov-21-13 1:12 AM

He is now in special education, having disruptive behviors inside the school setting. Each day in school is a struggle for him. Each day our duaghter witnesses his behvaiors. Its a struggle for her too. We apologize if our son is one of the disrupting students. However, not only is this effecting other childrens education, is has seem to disrupt the education and lives of many. These behaviors are learned behaviors. Were was the help for these children who are being targeted? And yet they are still being targeted? If the state of PA has no self defence laws, what do you expect us to teach those who are being targeted? The only protection our children have are the parents. SPEAK UP!

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Stillers

Nov-21-13 7:27 AM

radioactice, you said, "let the parents and students dictate policy." I replied that parents are, in fact, the ones that dictate policy. This group of parents were not "dictating" anything. They were appropriately asking for help from the board about a situation in the school as is their right. As it would be yours if you had a child in public school and felt the need to advocate for him/her.

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biobabycj

Nov-21-13 12:25 PM

i feel it is very important for kids to be included with kids that have disabilities including emotional support needs. Parents teachers and peers should be educating the NONdisruptive kids about what is going on with the so called disruptive kids and learn to be somewhat accepting and understanding of these kids. because of human rights laws and advocators, it is not okay to segregate disabled(( both mentally and physically)) from normal kids. Because ainger5's child is having such a hard time in public school, isnt there alternative places for him to get education, Check maybe with Hope enterprises childrens division. i dont know why the kids are segregated as it is, but maybe the special needs classroom needs to be moved closer to the gymnasium or somewhere less disruptive. if thats the term that must be used. some kids are scared of a loud fart. get over it.

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ainger5

Nov-21-13 7:33 PM

Stillers your comment is very true. We agree. However, when thier is a team of professionals who fail to address the concerns of ALL parents, wether thier child is in special ed or regular ed, prior to these issues resulting in such negativity of others being targeted or effected, its disturbing that those same professionals who have the education and experience are failing to apropriately educate the less educated and experienced parents or guardians about their right to know. With out being taught/informed of your right to know and using those rights to participate in enfourcing a posotive change. Ask yourself...are you willing to use your child as an example to change the educational guidlines for many? For when you reach out to help one you hold your hand out to help many. Its a domino effect. This should be a team effort. Choose your team wisely. This isnt about principal, its about publicity.

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ainger5

Nov-21-13 7:50 PM

This will definately get publicity and the district should be ashamed of themselves. The principal behind what is being publisized is far more intence. They will publisize about a girl being raped on a soccer field, a student setting fire to the school, the shutting down of schools, announce educational budget cuts, target special education children and the effects is has on regular education, send home fund raising flyers for your children to participate in helping the school, and many other things. What lead to these events? Publisize the cause, not the effect. For not everyone woke up one day and it was written in stone this is what would be happenieng. What is happening has been going on for a period of time. And we have all allowed it to happen. STOP POINTING FINGURES. And perhapse everone will find ammunity for a more posotive outcome.

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 6:37 AM

I am so glad that parents are standing up to address this issue that has occurred in the WASD for many years. I am speaking from personal hands on experience with the Emotional Support classroom. Each student in the classroom has their individual issues and are in that specific classroom for "Emotional" concerns. However, WASD chose to ignore requests for help from the teachers, classroom aides, and parents/ guardians of students in the classroom. I have witnessed students biting, kicking, punching, urinating on, vomiting on, cursing at, etc etc the teacher and aides in the classroom. The Emotional Support classroom was originally in the old Lose Elem School, then it was moved to Hepburn/Lycoming Elem school with GREAT resistance. However, I do have to say the behaviors continued however, the teacher and principle addressed the issues consistently until administration had to stick their untrained nose into the mix. WASD administration did not and does not support the

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 6:54 AM

classroom. Instead, moves the teacher of many years to another position and moves the classroom to Jackson Elem. The new classroom teacher was uprooted from her classroom, that she had just established at Cochran Elem with Emotional Support students, and moved to Jackson Elem. This teacher was subjected to the hitting, kicking, biting, urinating on, cursing, and continued abuse everyday but was able to get a structured schedule for academics to occur. Many requests for assistance in the classroom, due to the continuous behaviors, by the teacher and aides were left ignored and when responded to left the classroom in worse chaos because of the lacking of training and questionable administration repercussions. This lead to the teacher resigning and taking employment at another district. This makes 2 very talented and trained ES teachers down. WASD did not even post the open ES position instead put in a long term sub, by the way had never been a teacher only substitute, because was

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 7:04 AM

"friend" and excuse my language but kiss xxx and said would do "anything to get a position in the district." The classroom behaviors became worse because there was no teaching(this teacher is a worksheet teacher), no structure,no consistency, and along with no support from administration. At this point the classroom aides had put up with enough and resigned/ transferred out. Aides with little to no Emotional Support training were put in classroom. The classroom finished out the year and the students received little to no academic teaching. The classroom was then moved to Cochran Elem for this school year and surprise surprise the substitute teacher was given the salaried full time position. The teacher with absolutely no Emotional Support training or education. This is why the classroom is the way it is and the WASD is to blame, so I say thank you so much parents of Cochran for speaking out and standing up for the students' rights. Maybe now WASD will open

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 7:08 AM

their ears, listen, and take responsibility for the chaos they created and refused to address, for many years. Districts in the surrounding area contract with BLAST and BLAST classrooms in the schools, brilliant idea since BLAST employs teachers and staff with the appropriate training, provides continuous training, and supports their teachers and staff.

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tacosalad

Nov-22-13 10:26 AM

Mainstreaming students with special needs is going to hinder the progress grade level and gifted students can make. Special Ed advocates have long lobbied for inclusion for their children because it "isn't fair" to exclude them. What is never considered is how unfair it is to the rest of the class to have their learning potential underserved every single day because the staff has to tend to the disruptions and remedial level of other kids. If you support inclusion, fine. But realize that it does damage the learning of the rest of the class. If you want the top of the class to reach their potential, you need to take the distractions away- no matter how unfair it is.

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biobabycj

Nov-22-13 2:05 PM

other than seeing Tacos point about the disruptions, i dont understand WHY two people so far disagreed with my post. was there something OFFENSIVE in there to someone? since ive been out of school for over 20 years, i was wondering, are children not placed in classes according to their learning abilities and levels? like a classroom just for the gifted, and a class room just for the special education needs.. that is segregating, but maybe then the top of the top will get the attention you say they deserve. i dont know, i just dont understand why two people disagreed with my post, i didnt mean anything offensive

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ainger5

Nov-22-13 2:22 PM

Schools are being torn down, others schools shut down, the district building is being build up, prisons are being expanded, schools are ranking below meeting educational criteria, and the educational budget is being cut. Without an education and the way technology is taking over, were do you expect uneducated invidivuals to seek employment, if a skilled trade or education is required? This applies to everyone!who wants the future of our children facing imprisonment? Thier is no law that prohibits those who are disabled, gifted, or who are in special education from obtaining unemployment. Who are able and willing to work. Please keep in mind the laws and rules under being classified as disabled have changed. Everyone has "emotional" feelings. How can you not take ALL of those into consideration when seeking a solution? Each of you cross path with someone daily who is going through emotions. Does that effect you? It does if you allow it to.

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ainger5

Nov-22-13 2:47 PM

What we have experienced, it has been allowed to effect many individuals, by ignorance. Ignoring the cause is not going to make a better solution. As adults, parents and guardians, who are more self disciplined, how can you target children. Self disciplined is a learned behavior. Over a period of time, these children will develope self discipline. Thats if its taught with consistancy. It startes with you! So what are you going to do so that your child is being treated fairly and not being targeted? It would be a shame the parents of special education targeted the regular ed students. I quess because the regular ed is classified as being more advanced they should be smart enough to know better then to let a special ed student ruin thier day...right? The problem is not the children. The problem is that the district is ignoring the cause. What is the district going to do to impliment posotive educational sructure for ALL students?

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ainger5

Nov-22-13 3:05 PM

No matter how you look at it, EVERYONE is emotional about what is being done inside of public school with our children. As is your right. Maybe everyone should be placed in "emotional support classroom". Perhapse the laws that cover those students will better suit your satisfaction. Thier is no law in the state of Pa that protects those children. Pa is one state that does not have laws that protect those chldren such as other states. It makes it difficult when being targeted. The more you target and seclude them, the more emotional disturbances accure. I have seen terrible things happen to children who are secluded. Some lossing lives. Families with regular ed student destroyed. Some of them are so young they arent at the age level or have the mental capacity to understand what should be understood and justified. Children can be cruel, wether being in special ed or regular ed. Stop teaching ignorance, segrigation, and teach more about euqal rights/opprotunity-professionaly.

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ainger5

Nov-22-13 3:19 PM

biobabycj...perhapse this is a question you might want to ask the district. I hope they will be willing to awnser your question as they have failed to awnser ours. After our daughter told on peers and staff as to what was done to our son, it was stated she was hearing and seeing things that were not thier(hallucinating). She is basic & proficient in her education, having difficulty on math. The requested IEP testing states her hearing and seeing is fine. She was denied for special education, with levels of significant depression. Are they testing children, classifying them, and placing them in the apropriate education catogory? We would also like to know...as it is our right to!

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 7:47 PM

ainger5- I agree with the majority of your comments. I would like to clarify or elaborate on somethings however. Emotional support does not just refer to "being emotional" it means the students in this classroom have mental health diagnosis, severe behavior problems, severe impulse control issues, severe anger issues, very aggressive/ threatening of whoever whenever & not predictable most of the time. I am and have always been an advocate for students identified to be in special education. I have worked with this population my entire working career. I do however, feel strongly about having students who are behaving this way allowed for inclusion because of the danger of hurting innocent students and for the fact that currently WASD has not or has ever provided training for the remainder of the teachers, staff, custodians, maintenance, cafeteria staff because ALL WASD that have interaction with students need to be trained on how to handle and address Emotional Suppor

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 8:08 PM

students for safety reasons. The reality is that students are placed in the Emotional Support Classroom not because they are learning support or life skills but because of their dangerous behaviors. Many times the students do not have just a Mental Health diagnosis but have external/ environmental/ home life influences that are provoking the behaviors, such as: dysfunctional families, being abused, homeless, poverty, etc etc. From my experience with these students, they sometimes do not have positive influences, positive role modeling, positive supports,or given their medications consistency to help them adjust in life. The majority of these students do learn to adjust and to use coping skills to work their way out of the Emotional Support classroom. Until the WASD is able to train their staff to address and manage the Emotional Support classroom students safety needs to be the #1 concern. Parents with students in the Emotional Support classroom need to be educated, included in

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 8:18 PM

the communication and educational planning of the their students. The problem is that WASD is NOT following the students' IEPs and do not want the parents "too" educated to know how to advocate for their children. The parents need to know that there are free educational advocates available to help them understand IEPs and the children's rights. Such advocates can be found at the Center for Independent Living/ Roads to Freedom. I would like to see a support group created by the parents and come together strong and advocate for their children's rights. I would be willing to support this group. I have witnessed progress in Emotional Support students and that is what motivates me to continue advocating for these students. I cannot and will not agree to put innocent students at risk, however.

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 8:35 PM

I just wanted to share an experience I had last year in a WASD classroom about this inclusion decision and no child left behind act. Educators, politics, etc etc have pushed for inclusion for a handful of reasons, however, did not do their research well enough or did not care about the end result of inclusion. Apparently, these advocators believed that the special education students were feeling more targeted and their self esteem was being more damaged being in their own academic setting/ classroom, than they would being integrated in inclusion. A classroom that I was in was taking a math test and some students were permitted to use calculators and others were not. A female student asked the teacher why some were allowed to use calculators and the teacher explained that those students had a piece of paper that stated they could use calculators. The student loudly stated, "It's not our fault they are stupid!" You decide, is it more damaging for the Special Education stu

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 8:41 PM

to have their own classroom and be able to learn in their own environment, one to one instruction, free of verbal abuse or for the Special Education students to be put in inclusion without one to one instruction, with verbal abuse.

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brownfox91

Nov-22-13 8:59 PM

ainger5- Your situation is completely heart breaking and I hope you sought legal council. If not for anything but that this will not happen to another student and their family. I do disagree with your statement that we are all to blame for this because I have advocated, reported behaviors to teachers, principle, assis principles, HR, Administration, anyone with ears as to what has been and continues to occur in the Emotional Support setting in the WASD. I have complete empathy for the Emotional Support students and with that said, no one has the right to bite, kick, punch, urinate on, vomit on, curse at, or stab anyone. The abuse that has been allowed to happen by the WASD is the WASD's fault! The WASD needs to be help accountable for not hiring properly trained staff, not training the staff, and allowing these behaviors to occur for so many years, especially when they were made aware and asked to help with the problems so many times but chose to ignore the requests.

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