Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Struggle Against Abuse Continues in Florida

I wrote a post in July about a state investigation of abusive treatment of autistic students in Florida schools. Those with knowledge of such mistreatment were urged to contact a state hotline to tell their stories. Now, more incidents of abuse are coming to light. As alleged in a recently filed lawsuit, a 7-year-old autistic student, Isaiah Moore, was hit and choked by a behavior analyst at a school in the St. Lucie County School District (the same district in which teacher Wendy Portillo became infamous for telling her kindergarten students to vote an autistic child out of class).

According to an article in a local newspaper, the child's mother, Anna Moore, and her attorney said that the lawsuit isn’t about money, but about making sure a similar incident doesn’t happen to another child.

Moore said it would be easier for her to walk away from the incident, since Isaiah is happy at his new school.

“This needs to stop. It’s not just my son. If people keep walking away, it’s never going to stop,” she said.

She urges parents and others who are aware of abuse in Florida schools to get involved in efforts to change the law to protect students with disabilities. More information about the struggle to end abuse in Florida schools can be found at the Florida Families Against Restraint and Seclusion website.

Mistreatment of children with disabilities unfortunately is a major problem in American schools in general. The Florida group mentioned above is affiliated with a Yahoo group that maintains a blog, Families Against Restraint and Seclusion, which addresses the issue from a national perspective.

Edit, December 31: Anna Moore has created a video about the harm caused by restraint and seclusion, and about the need for stronger laws to prevent abuse of children with disabilities:

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  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Stat Mama, at 1:51 PM  

  • Stories like this give me chills. It is truly my worst fear. The sick, sad truth is that children with autism are more vulnerable because people know they have communication defecits. Every time I even consider leaving my son in the care of someone else (other than his dad, with whom I know he is safe), there is this nagging concern in the back of my mind: If someone were to harm my child, would he be able to express this? This fear haunts me every day of my life. Children with disabilities need more protections, because clearly our school systems are failing to do an adequate job. While many moms look forward to the milestone of school starting, I fear it. Kudos to Isaiah Moore's mother for her crusade to protect other children.

    By Blogger Stat Mama, at 1:52 PM  

  • Sorry - duplicate post :)

    By Blogger Stat Mama, at 1:52 PM  

  • Once again, Neurodiversity causes abuse by trying to prevent the kids from being cured.

    By Blogger John Best, at 6:41 PM  

  • somebody just farted?

    By Blogger David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E., at 12:08 AM  

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