DeSoto Mother Concerned About Classroom Discipline

(DeSoto County, MS) Jayna Smith says she got a shock when her son came home from school with bruises recently.

”He finally, with tears in his eyes, and stuttering, he finally told me a teacher and he named the person by name and said, ‘He did it to me.'”

Smith’s son has Asperger’s and is in a special needs class at an elementary school in Southaven.

His mother says he has outbursts, but they’re not violent.

”He’s never put himself in a situation of hurting someone else or hurting himself at any point in time.”

DeSoto School leaders wouldn’t comment on the specific case, but say teachers and assistants are trained in how to restrain special needs students.

When any child is hurting himself or others, trained staff can use passive restraints. The goal is to diffuse the behavior to prevent a crisis situation.

School leaders say the policy is to use a kind of “bear hug,” but Smith says the injuries to her son’s wrists don’t line up with that explanation.

Since the incident, she has sought the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and a special needs advocacy group.

Smith says she’s upset her son got the bruises, and she’s even more upset she had to hear it from her son and not the school.

Smith says the school has a duty to tell parents what’s going on.

”It leads to a lot of suspicion that is this really even happening that my son’s having this outburst or is this gentleman not handling things the appropriate way and are there other kids involved?”

DeSoto school leaders say they’re investigating and the adult in question is still on the job.

21 comments

    • Nonya Bidness

      Mom needs to be in the classroom to handle the outbursts correctly. That way there is no doubt about how things should be handled.

  • Kevin

    When I was a kid the punishment for acting out was a lot worse than being held down. You cant take away a schools ability to apply discipline and restraint to unruly children.

    • MikeBarret

      Were you a special needs kid? Well okay that part is obvious cause your reading comprehension needs work.

  • NCOWife2

    If she is that upset, she needs to make visits or volunteer at her son’s school. I can’t tell you how many parents swear that their children are innocent angels. What’s worse is when a parent starts to vent and mistakenly tell teachers that they have in fact witnessed similar behaviors. (1)She was not there. (2) She is taking a one-sided view from her child, who was in some sort of trouble. (3) She made a lot of accusations about an individual and how restraints are handled. I am not a SpEd or Positive Behavior Specialist (PBS teacher), but I have lived and worked in several states and she is wrong. The restraint fits the situation and it should. Some kids are very large in height and girth and some techniques are necessary to protect both the student and others. If her child was putting others in danger and was successful in doing so, she still would have been on television blaming the teacher for not reacting appropriately. In reality, teaching is a #@mned if you do, #@mned if you don’t reality in this country.

    I personally feel that all parents who have school-aged children should spend a mandatory amount of time in their child’s school. Nine years ago, when we lived in the Midwest, my daughter’s school district required a parent, grandparent, or representative of that child to spend two days per academic year in their child’s school, serving in some capacity. Needless to say, we never heard the kind of uneducated comments and assumptions from parents/citizens that we hear today. Parents KNEW the dynamics of the school, how students behave outside of the watchful eyes of their parents, and the expectations of each teacher. Parents and teachers had a mutual respect for one another and we grew very close.

    And contrary to popular belief, abusive teachers are reported by colleagues everyday and they are fired and/or their contracts are not renewed. I will NEVER stand by and be silent about any abusive situation, no matter who the person is and I have never had a colleague to do so either. If we hated your children, we could work at Walmart for better pay…after you factor in tutoring, grading, conferencing, planning, coaching, mentoring, monitoring, counseling, calling, meeting, professional developments, and baby-sitting (which parents have become creative in tricking some of us).

    • MikeBarret

      Man I respect the heck out of you. Couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher. And they don’t pay teachers enough already to put up with all that S#1T

      • NCOWife2

        Let’s see…probably the way I did when a student showed up with the ENTIRE red and swollen outline of a man’s belt buckle impressed in her cheek, forehead, and all over her neck. We are not STUPID! Children can’t be wrapped in bubble wrap. They are going to get scraps, bumps, and bruises; however, we are experienced enough to know how to report suspicious activity. You sound guilty…hmmm.

      • NCOWife2

        By the way, this poor girl was a SpEd student. Mom had two daughters, one year apart. She loved the younger one, but would abuse the older one to hurt her father, whom she wanted to rekindle a relationship with. Mom defended the action, telling me that she has a right to handle punishment HER WAY, so I told her that I would continue reporting her MY WAY anytime I saw anything like that. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no kid is going to die because I neglected to react.

    • DonTigers

      You should have stopped right when you admitted you are not a SPED teacher. For one thing, parents have active roles with their SPED kids at the school. There are constant meetings and plans about the child’s development and concerns are always brought to the parents’ attention. No news is good news. Children with Asperger’s throw tantrums/fits or like the lady said “outbursts”; they lack social skills. They are not bad or unruly kids. They have a learning disorder. And that does not mean they are violent. However, if a child ever shows signs of such behavior to warrant such a “passive” restraint to calm the situation then the parents should be notified.

      • NCOWife2

        I did say that I was not a SpEd teacher, but I am an Inclusion teacher and have been a PBS teacher…so YOU are one of the uneducated people that I spoke of earlier. I work with these students everyday. They are in my classes and I treat them with the same respect and dignity that I treat all of my students. And as far as the active roles that (all) parents take with their SpEd kids, well…I’ll leave that alone because teachers know the truth.

        Unfortunately, it becomes necessary that teachers Document, Document, Document, in order to protect themselves. And yes, parents are kept in the loop about student progress, but those meetings that you spoke of are mainly annuals or changes called by either the parent or the school and they have a wide array of acronyms for those meetings, depending on the state. However, there are many parents that appreciate all that schools do to help improve the lives of their children AND there ARE some parents that are truly Godsent. For those parents, I have bent over backwards…helping them financially in serious situations, babysitting their other children, private tutoring (parent present) in my home on weekends, etc. The bottom line is that teachers are not the enemy.

        P.S. Not all Asperger children throw tantrums. Some are very high functioning. I had four in one class in Georgia and two in one class period during my last year in my former state (exceptional family military base–meaning our SpEd numbers where off the charts more as compared to the local districts in this area) and many, many more in between.

  • williams keith

    She is just a sad person. She has no idea how the restraint even works.You would never put a child’s hands on their chest hard, how could they breath. I am sure this poor teacher was doing the right thing. She is more then likely rougher with her kids then he will very be. Her child is more then likely horrible and she just wants to put the blame on the school and not on herself. Sad Sad Sad girl. Grow up. I am sure she could not even handle her own child everyday all day. This is why school are going to hell fast, people like her.

    • DomTigers

      Why would I be a news troll? Because I stereotyped you? Wow the shoe fits!

      You know nothing about this “sad girl” or the case just like you said. Troll!

      And whoever said teachers are damned if you do or damned if you don’t, all your posts prove that parents are damned if you do or damned if you don’t. One sec she is a naive little girl on a witch hunt or she’s another parent who doesn’t care about her child enough to protect him/her.

  • DonTigers

    Schools are going down because of mistreatment on SPED kids? Really? Really? There are 3 types of people. People who have kids. People who don’t have kids who think they know what it is like to have kids. And people who have kids with special needs. Which one of the first 2 are you?

    • NCOWife2

      You forgot the people that care for them more hours of the day than the parents. Sleeping at night, not included…sorry.

    • williams keith

      Well, I HAVE KIDS AND WORK AT A SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL. Who are you? A news troll. No one is going to ever going to want to work her or her child again. I am pretty sure she is not going to homeschool. Yes, the teacher should have document it but who said that he didn’t. we don’t know.. we don’t know his side just hers. who got her info from a little boy.

  • quen lanier

    The child in question weighs 35 pounds Max!!!! Please explain to me why it would take bruises to restrain him.Were any other methods tried first?The parent was not notified until the next day.This alone is out of protocol.If the shoe was on the other foot I bet the school would call DHS on her.Protect the child not the grown ups that did not handle the this correctly.

  • Sharon

    It’s amazing how many assumptions are made above in the comments by people that are supposedly involved in education. If your child came home with bruises on his or her arms in the shape of hand prints, and you were not given any notification from the school that there had been some sort of incident, you would be crazy not to be concerned. If the child in question was so “horrible”, why had this not been addressed before it escalated to a physical altercation. For everyone making such negative comments towards an innocent child and his or her family, shame on you. None of us were in the room when this happened. And yes, I said innocent child. I dont care if this child was having a bad day, it is still a child. If you are in a position of power, such as a teacher, you should have the knowledge and skills to defuse a situation without leaving bruises on a child.

    • NCOWife2

      Prove everything that you THINK! Volunteer for more than a day in a school and tell us about it later.

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