Children can be violent and teachers must cope

OlympiaMay 16, 2013 

A letter in the May 7 issue aired the complaints of a parent whose child received some bruises at school, supposedly by school personnel. I am retired with 35 years as a classroom teacher, mostly special education. I believe the public would be shocked to see how violent and physical small children can be when in a “meltdown.”

I have seen teachers get broken glasses, black eyes, bloody noses and back injuries trying to safely restrain a child in these situations. I have seen an entire wing of a school shut down while faculty try to calm a student in the midst of a giant tantrum in a hallway, and witnessed youngsters bolt from their escorts while going to the buses, and run into traffic with teachers risking injury in pursuit.

Most schools have a “quiet room,” as was mentioned in the letter. Some have padded walls to protect against head-bangers and wall-punchers. I don’t doubt this child did get bruises. It can happen in these situations.

Vast sums of money are diverted from the regular school program to support our special education kids, and I’m glad our society is willing to do this. Most parents of explosive special education students are just grateful that their children are allowed to attend classes with other kids.

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