Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2010/ 03/03/AR20100303 03286.html
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/health/04restraint.html
AP: http://www.google. com/hostednews/ ap/article/ ALeqM5ieMm1HL- n7kt8tm- 2vEIC5-wK9AD9E7D F9G1
I tried to get all the spaces out of these articles, but if I did not do it, please look over these links carefully to see if there are extra spaces in them.
I believe that we need to hire additional aides and teachers, keep class sizes much smaller than some are (so that we can place every child in the least restrictive environment), and then raise our standards for education. We have lower standards in school, because we do not want anyone to feel frustrated, and consequently misbehave. So, we try not to have too much material in class on a given day, and this works for most students. Of course, other countries have better programs. We bemoan the fact that we do not have good programs that teach as much as these other countries, but we forget that in those countries, they are not dummying down the curriculum so that nobody gets frustrated, because they are not dealing with the discipline issues that we are.
OK, so what else can we do? If we lower class size, and have aides and parent volunteers where needed, when someone does not understand, we will be able to take the time to explain it. Then, our students will feel more reassured that they can learn harder subjects.
When we have students who have disabilities, if we actually have the staffing that is mandated by current laws, then those students will have staff to help explain things to them where needed- and in addition, it will help bring down walls, because typical classmates will have more contact with atypical classmates than they currently do.
I believe that restraint has been applied in some truly awful cases because of money issues. I feel awful for all of the children who had to go through it. I feel that using restraint as a punishment is simply not good teaching.
I am very glad that there was bi-partisan support for a bill today that passed the House, in relation to limiting the application of restraint and seclusion in schools, because to me, this is about being a person and caring for other people, and being willing to try to see the world through the eyes of each child. All children are people.