Legally Kidnapped

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

School Recourse Officers Should Be Trained In Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and IEP Policy

We have all seen that video of the cop taking down the student in South Carolina.
And Beverly Tran did an insightful piece on this.
I am also familiar with the issue of physically restraining children in schools, or physically escorting them from classrooms.  That has been a hot topic over the last couple years.  So here are my thoughts on this issue.

Schools all across the country have policies for handling unruly students.  In the more extreme cases, they have the ability to physically restrain a child and to put them into isolation.  In doing so, only professionals who are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), overseen by an administrator should be physically handling the child, except in the most extreme cases like when the use of potentially deadly immediate force becomes necessary.  The reason for this is to minimize the harm to the child as well as to other students or staff.

This student should and probably did have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place, simply because of her prior circumstance.  Her being a foster child, I believe, qualifies her for an IEP.  Although I can't claim to know much about her circumstances or her particular life situation, I can say that being "Recently Orphaned" is a reasonable explanation for the behavior which she was exhibiting.

Now, because of Deputy Ben (the animal) Fields we will have one child injured, traumatized students, and the social workers and counselors there to talk about it.  Parents will be calling the school demanding that their children be kept safe from psycho cops like that.  The Sheriffs Department will also need to do some serious damage control to get the kids to trust the police (recourse officers) again and an arrest would be a good way to start with that.

Had proper school TCI procedure for the physical removal of children from a class, as outlined in policies and state laws in South Carolina as well as all over the country been followed, there would have been two people, one under each arm, picking her up and removing her from the class.  The class would have been cleared of other students who would have to have otherwise been in danger from the violent and unruly student.  There would be no video, because the child's privacy would have been protected during the restraint.  And all de-escalation techniques should have been exhausted first.

I believe that the job of a School Recourse Officer should be to not only ensure safety, but to make the children feel safe in school.  The unjustifiable attack on the student at Spring Valley High School, now having gone viral, has set that goal back a few decades and demonstrates a desperate need for police officers in schools to be trained in the safe handling of unruly students, they should be subject to act only in extreme circumstances, and they should be subject to behavior plans outlined in IEP's, overseen by school administrators and trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention so that the student is handled as safely as possible.

Otherwise they should not be in school.

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