This is a post in which I discuss one of the projects that I have been working on within my home state. I have shied away from much of any mention of it due to the ease of which my readers will be able to access my identity. After much thought (probably too much!) I have decided to blog about this issue with confidence. It's more important to me that things change within our educational system for our children than for me to remain anonymous. The issues that I am going to discuss in this blog are long overdue for change, and I have a platform in which I can speak from, so I am.
You might want to get yourself some coffee, or tea. Get comfy. This is going to be a long read. I have a lot to say, but it so desperately needs to be heard.
Let's start from the beginning.
Back in February I was contacted by our state's local disability rights center about a meeting that was coming up for the state department of education. It was to suggest some changes in the regulations that the dept set forth in how schools can implement seclusion, and restraint. I testified about Beans incident at school, and how how the state board failed to protect him. Other parents also testified, as did advocates.
In the end, the board felt that what was already in place was sufficient.
After that disability advocates decided to propose a bill in which it clearly outlined when, and how seclusion, and restraint (Emergency Safety Intervention or ESI) can be used by schools. It went through all the proper places. I testified about Ian's school incident at two of those meetings, as did other parents, and agencies from our state who advocate for disability rights.
The stories that the parents told were awful. It was one after another of horrific incidents of children