18 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-21-19

  1. Why do people keep entrusting their children to the whims of those grossly unqualified for the job?

    This type of treatment of the developmentally disabled is why they got rid of state hospitals for them. This is what was considered cruel when nurses did it. So why allows teachers to do it instead?

    These are children, not experiments to monitor and take notes on.


    “Report: Illinois Public Schools Lock Kids, Even Those With Disabilities, in Isolation

    9-year-old autistic boy: “By 11 a.m., Jace had also defecated and was smearing feces on the wall. No adults intervened, according to the log. They watched and took notes.””

    “The Chicago Tribune released a disturbing report that shows Illinois public schools lead the nation in isolating children as young as five.

    The majority of students sent to these “quiet rooms” have disabilities. Teachers place them in the rooms due to little infractions like tearing paper to more severe ones like biting.

    Illinois allows “school employees to seclude students in a separate space” if they believe the “students pose a safety threat to themselves or others.”

    The Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois analyzed “more than 20,000 incidents from the 2017-18 school year and through early December 2018.”

    Only 12,000 incidents included the violation committed by the student. School employees did not document the infraction in over a third of the incidents:

    Some districts declined to provide records or gave incomplete information. Others wouldn’t answer even basic questions, saying the law did not require them to. Of more than 20 districts reporters asked to visit, only three said yes.

    “Is this something that we’re ashamed of? It’s not our finest,” said Christan Schrader, director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District in East Moline, which documented about 850 seclusions in the time period examined.

    Schrader said she thinks her staff generally uses seclusion appropriately but acknowledged room for improvement. She met with reporters at the district’s administration building but wouldn’t let them see the seclusion rooms in the school across the parking lot.

    “Nobody wants to talk about those things because it doesn’t reflect well,” she said.

    The schools have to provide thorough details if they isolate a student.

    Here is one incident when a teacher at Kansas TLC isolated a 9-year-old autistic boy after he tore up a math worksheet and tried to leave school:

    About 20 minutes after he was put in one of his school’s Quiet Rooms — a 5-foot-square space made of plywood and cinder block — 9-year-old Jace Gill wet his pants.

    An aide, watching from the doorway, wrote that down in a log, noting it was 10:53 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2018.

    School aides had already taken away Jace’s shoes and both of his shirts. Jace then stripped off his wet pants, wiped them in the urine on the floor and sat down in the corner.

    “I’m naked!” Jace yelled at 10:56 a.m.

    Staff did not respond, the log shows, except to close the door “for privacy.”

    By 11 a.m., Jace had also defecated and was smearing feces on the wall. No adults intervened, according to the log. They watched and took notes.

    “Dancing in feces. Doing the twist,” staff wrote at 11:14 a.m., noting that the boy then started pacing back and forth.

    “I need more clothes,” he called out.

    “We know,” an aide answered.

    Jace banged on the walls and tried to pry open the door. He sat against the wall, crying for his mom.

    11:42 a.m.: “Let me out of here. I’m crying alone.”

    Jace’s mom claimed the school reassured her “he would never be shut inside alone.”

    In the 2017-18 school year, the teachers placed Jace in that room at least 28 times.

    Another school in a special-education classroom had a box “3 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 7 feet tall.” The school used it to isolate students, including a non-verbal 16-year-old boy named Ted. The Chicago Tribune wrote he “was routinely shut inside.”


  2. Once again sanctuary policies aid the criminal, not the victims.


    “Illegal immigrant arrested in deadly Oregon crash fled to Mexico after jail didn’t honor ICE hold request”

    “A 20-year-old man in the country illegally who was street-racing when he crashed into a car in Oregon, killing a woman, was able to flee to Mexico after local authorities did not honor an immigration detainer, according to federal officials.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a news release on Tuesday that Alejandro Maldonado-Hernandez was arrested on July 12 in connection with the fatal car crash that killed Janice Ator and seriously injured her husband, Patrick Ator.

    After he was released from the hospital with minor injuries, Maldonado-Hernandez was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of felony manslaughter in the second degree, felony assault in the third degree and misdemeanor reckless driving. ICE said that officers lodged an immigration detainer on July 16, but that by Aug. 8 the jail failed to honor it and let the 20-year-old go after he posted bail.

    “It is real slap in the face to the victim’s friends and family when criminal aliens, in this case a man who has caused the death of a woman and severe injuries to her husband, are released into the community due to dangerous sanctuary policies,” Nathalie Asher, Seattle field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, said in a statement. “How many lives have to be lost before politicians are more concerned about public safety than their own political agendas?”

    ICE said that according to a Washington County Sherriff’s Department news alert, investigators learned on Aug. 27 that Maldonado-Hernandez fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. The 20-year-old remains at large, federal officials said.”


  3. AJ @ 7:10. It doesn’t apply to me because I had over 50 years of good marriage with her.
    But I can understand how a parent with a child who doesn’t develop might try something unusual, anything with promise, to bring a child around. “It can’t get any worse. Day in and day out, nothing is right
    I don’t experienced it myself, but I now see how it can work on people..”


  4. Integration began as positive idea and an improvement on institutionalization. However administration soon discovered that immense savings could be made by closing special schools and classes under guise of integration. Instead of putting the savings back into system by hiring specially trained aides, training and special equipment, admin/politicians froze budgets and property taxes to help with their re-election. The result is an overburdened system with overworked teachers, aides, etc. And poor treatment and education of special ed students. That being said, isolation boxes arent the solution. Hiring more specially trained aides using the orginal savings is a much better idea but then taxpayers will no longer see the savings.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting, HRW. I don’t remember financial savings being the issue for mainstreaming children, because I know how expensive it is.

    I’m not sure what I think about the “equalization” of education. It feels like it ends up at the least common denominator for everyone. The intellectually gifted will always be pushing boundaries and seeking excellence–unless they’re allowed to get bored.

    The intellectually needy, like the bright, sometimes end up just disrupting education for everyone else.

    Which leaves all the “normal” students caught in the crosshairs.

    But I could be wrong. What do you see as a teacher?


  6. I remember the mainstreaming movement here in LA, it was seen as a significant step forward educationally and culturally. A friend’s husband back east, a public defender, was among the early supporters of that movement in the 1980s.


  7. A close relative to my wife is an assistant principle in one of the richest school systems in the US.

    His specialty is special education. He’s also the first to admit what a waste of resources, time, and teachers it is to try and “normalize, “transition,” and “mainstream” special ed students.

    He says this, and he’s also the father of a 6 year old with Downs.

    They shouldn’t be institutionalized in his opinion, but day care is all they really need, and that’s mostly all many of their educations’ consists of anyway.

    But like he also said, try explaining that to parents, school boards, and the DoE.

    They don’t want to hear it.


  8. Integratation or mainstreaming started with the best intentions and initially the money was made available but in the last 10 years Ive noticed a shift toward downloading the responsibility to the classroom teacher. There’s also been a narrowing of choices for parents — typically parents would be offered full integration, special ed class in a regular school with some integration or fully segragated school. Now there are only limited spots available and students are placed in the classroom often with little support. Obviously this is from my narrow ancedotal experiences but from contact with other teaches elsewhere this has been the trend.

    Behavioural classes have been especially affected as many administrators have reached the view that behaviours are an educational problem. That is, a good teacher can teach proper behaviour in the classroom while teaching other subjects. However, this is not always the case and in the primary division students who arrived with very little social skills take up class time at the expense of “regualar” students. Violence in the classroom therefore has shifted to the lower grades.

    I agree with lowest common denominator — teaching grades 7 and 8, its easily noticeable which high school level will be appropriate for each ( here its; academic, applied and basic). Its frustrating for many of the academic students that teachers either slow down or make the lessons easy enough to have a decent bell curve (I do the former but not the latter). In addition, behaviour and level of serious intent vary among these students but they are stuck with each other til grade 9. So yes the “normal” students– academic but not gifted or high end applied students– are caught in the middle.


  9. AJ

    I’d argue the greatest waste is the paperwork and meetings not the actual programming. In most cases, no matter what is on paper and stated in meetings matters not unless the right personel are with the student. Forget all the meetings and paperwork and hire more edcuational assistants (and pay them more) and train them well. With the right personel, its more than babysitter but if all the school board is willing to do is place the kid in a regular classroom with a half time underpaid and undertrained aide then you’re right its nothing more than babysitting. However, I’d argue spending resources on these students when they are young is far more cost effecient than not training them for adulthood. As adults they are more expensive but with some proper education they can be less burdensome and costly when they are older.


  10. Sadly for us, it’s been mission accomplished for Russia.


  11. Shall we?

    Oh let’s! 🙂



  12. More good news. 🙂


    “While you were watching Gordon Sondland, Trump flipped the 11th Circuit

    Trump continues to transform the federal judiciary for generations to come as Democrat impeachment efforts remain bogged down in faulty memories, rank speculation, and inadmissible opinion.”


    “In today’s news from the battlefield, Trump just captured the 11th Circuit:

    Even as the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday heard crucial testimony from pivotal witness Gordon Sondland, the Senate voted to confirm Trump’s latest appointee to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a regional appeals court handling cases from Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

    The action represented a new milestone in Trump’s dramatic reshaping of the federal judiciary, with Republican-appointed judges now in the majority in the 11th Circuit, whose majority before Trump took office in January 2017 had been Democratic appointees. Republican-appointed justices tend to be conservative, while Democratic-named judges tend to be liberal.

    This marks the third time that Trump has been able to engineer the ideological “flip” of one of the nation’s 13 federal appeals courts, which exert considerable power one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. The other two to “flip” were the Manhattan-based 2nd Circuit and the Philadelphia-based 3th Circuit, both of which also had Democratic-appointed majorities when Trump became president.”


  13. So I saw a headline suggesting the impeachment hearings are coming to an end. Is this true? I have not been following it, too busy working. But that is actually good news. I think. Make a call, move on. I’m not a fan of drama.

    The debate over special needs education reminds me a bit of the discussion now ongoing about how mentally ill treatments have evolved, for better or worse, in our country (with regard to today’s homeless problems).

    The decentralization of mental health care, begun in the ’60s (maybe ’50s) which resulted in many of the sanitariums and full-time residential hospitals closing seemed to be a good thing all the way around — new medications allowed many of the mentally ill to be more functional so out-patient clinics would provide a much more normal lifestyle for them — and it also satisfied civil rights concerns about “locking” people up full time. But now, well, we’re apparently seeing the downside of that decision (in that medications need to be taken by the clients, if not, they’re of little help). And once medications are abandoned, people spin out and are left to their own abilities, which sometimes are lacking in big ways.

    Interesting pieces by an LA Times columnist in recent days here’s the 2nd segment focusing on the area in Hollywood where my disabled (and mentally ill) friend lived up until just recently. The underpass they talk about was round the corner from her assisted living place; it used to have a few homeless people in tents, but last time I went by there, only a couple weeks ago, both sides were jammed with tents. First Presbyterian church is just a block away from there.



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