It has broken my heart to read that 85 disabled children received a degree of corporal punishment through the Union County School system. My son was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at the age of six and autistic at the age of 17. I worked hard with the schools to assure that he received a quality education. Thank God that he was never struck with a paddle because everything that I worked to achieve for him would have been set back ten years. An autistic child cannot relay his inner feelings to express himself. Some with frustration act out to bring attention to the fact that something is wrong in their day to day schedule. Any outbursts are a means of saying, "Help!" from any special needs child.
I am on the Board of Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare for Union County and there is a lot of discussion now about the misuse of prone restraints (a type of physical restraint) in child residential settings. This type of restraint recently resulted in the death of a 12 year old child in another county.
Day cares cannot discipline children, even with parental consent, except by time out. So, how can the schools in Union County continue to discipline the children under the corporal punishment rule?
Lucy Drake is the Mayor of Stallings, North Carolina.
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