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3 Face Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Death of Autistic Student

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And there you have it. Decades after the “no child left behind” law went into action, which in my opinion, severely damaged school systems, and the teachers’ abilities to actually do their jobs, we have a death on our hands.

From Wikipedia:

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)[1][2] was a U.S. Act of Congress that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; it included Title I provisions applying to disadvantaged students.[3] It supported standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals could improve individual outcomes in education. The Act required states to develop assessments in basic skills. To receive federal school funding, states had to give these assessments to all students at select grade levels.

Another organization that found positive correlations between NCLB and IDEA was the National Center on Educational Outcomes. It published a brochure for parents of students with disabilities about how the two (NCLB & IDEA) work well together because they “provide both individualized instruction and school accountability for students and disabilities.” They specifically highlight the new focus on “shared responsibility of general and special education teachers,” forcing schools to have disabled students more on their radar.” They do acknowledge, however, that for each student to “participate in the general curriculum [of high standards for all students] and make progress toward proficiency,” additional time and effort for coordination are needed.[65] The National Center on Educational Outcomes reported that now disabled students will receive “…the academic attention and resources they deserved.”[66]

George Bush’s bill got rid of “special ed” classes and instead, forced most of these kids into the main classrooms.

How do I know this? My best friend since birth works in the Washington State school district as a substitute teacher. She works at several different schools. She has first-hand knowledge of what exactly goes on there. I asked her a few questions:

How many special needs kids are in a classroom on average?

About 6.

So when we talk about “special needs,” what do you mean?

Most of these kids are autistic. Some are dangerous, try to hit you and others, bite people etc.

How are the children handled when there are that many?

Each child has one adult helper.

What duties are included, as a teacher?

Changing feeding tubes, changing diapers, helping them go to the bathroom, helping them eat, make sure they don’t bite other kids.

Are we just talking about kids in wheelchairs here?

No. Most are autistic, or have some severe behavioral issues. Biting, hitting, shitting, peeing, yelling, hitting themselves even. Very disruptive, sometimes scary. I get tired.

So each kid gets an adult helper?

Yes.

How many teachers are in the classroom at one time?

One main teacher, and then one “assistant teacher” per special needs student. Most I’ve seen is 10.

As a teacher. how much official training would you say you have been given to deal with these children?

None.

Do you have any medical training?

No. Well, basic CPR which is common.

How much do you make a year if you don’t mind me asking?

Well, I work when I want, and I make from $80.00 to 150.00 per hour, because I sub. I make about 150K a year.

Wow.

So it is hard for teachers to actually teach with all the things going on in the classroom?

Yes. I see a lot just get on their cell phones, they let their kids on their phones too. Facebook, etc.

So when do they actually get to teach?

I haven’t seen that yet.

Wow.

So now you have several members of faculty being charged with murder after restraining a student they were not qualified to take care of in the first place. Students like Max Benson, an autistic child who was restrained and later died, are suffering the consequences of Bush’s all-inclusive policies.

Cindy Keller, the school’s executive director and site administrator; Staranne Meyers, the school principal; and Kimberly Wohlwend, a credentialed special education teacher working at the school, will also be charged with felony involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 13-year-old Max Benson, prosecutors said.

Max died after being restrained at the school on Nov. 28, 2018, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said. Wohlwend was the employee who restrained the boy face-down, the district attorney’s office said.

In addition to the criminal charges, Keller, Meyers and Wohlwend are among several others named in a lawsuit that was filed in federal court Nov. 8.

According to the lawsuit, Max, who had autism, was held in the restraint for almost two hours. The lawsuit said staff did not render proper medical aid when the teen began showing signs of distress.

According to a 2018 report from the California Department of Education, school staff used “an amount of force which is not reasonable and necessary under the circumstances” and that “emergency intervention was used for longer than was necessary.”

-sfgate.com

These school employees are getting screwed. Sure, Kimberly Wohlwend, one charged, was a credentialed special education teacher working at the school. We don’t know what exactly went on though. Were they tending to others who needed attention from injuries caused by the disruption? I don’t know the circumstances. I’m stating three employees are being charged with murder, and two of those had no training whatsoever in this sort of thing. Unfair.

This is not about disabilites. This is about children with learning disorders, and severe behavioral disorders who are being unfairly lumped into classes with “regular kids.” Kids being denied specialized, trained services because the school systems no longer support “special ed” programs.

This is about children without learning disabilities being given a raw deal. The teachers have no time to teach since they spend most of their time dealing with the problems that arise with the learning disabled children.

This is about teachers being subjected to situations they are untrained, unqualified, and unenthusiatic to deal with. As a substitute teacher, my friend never imagined she wouldn’t actually be teaching…

Bring back Special Ed, and you won’t have so many children suffering on both sides of the spectrum.

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