Cameras in Special Needs Classrooms in Berkeley County
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Cameras need to be placed in every special needs classroom in Berkeley County School district in South Carolina. It is unacceptable that this is not already done. Special needs children are significantly at a greater risk of being abused by teachers than those in a typical classroom. These children are usually non verbal and/or have cognitive delays. These children are left vulnerable with no one to watch out for them or to speak up for them in the school setting. Here are some statistics to think about, "One in three children with an identified disability for which they receive special education services are victims of some type of maltreatment (i.e., either neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse) whereas one in ten non disabled children experience abuse. Children with any type of disability are 3.44 times more likely to be a victim of some type of abuse compared to children without disabilities" (Sullivan & Knutson, 20000. "Looking specifically at individuals with intellectual disabilities, they are 4 to 10 times more likely to be victims of crime than those without disabilities (Sobsey, et al 1995)". A First Look Study done by a 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection showed that "Students with disabilities... represent 12% of all the students, but are 67% of students subject to restraint or seclusion". Children with special needs are at a much greater risk of being targeted for abuse or mistreatment and there needs to be cameras to ensure the safety of the students as well as the teachers. I am not asking for them to have them for the public to view at anytime but they should be there to view when a problem arises. We have had several incidents where something has happened to our child or he has said someone did something and there is no way to verify for sure. I have talked with the school, principal and district expressing my concerns and now they need to hear from you too. The principal told me that her or another administrator could sit in the classroom but they would never see anything because it wouldn't happen if they were in there. The problem is they can't be there all the time. Please sign this petition to let Berkeley County School District know that you want cameras placed in every special needs classroom in the district.
UPDATE: On April 18, 2017 I was taking my children to school and my son was having a great morning and got ready to get out of the car when he saw his teachers face. His appearance and mood changed and you could visibly see that he was upset. He had a panic attack and went to the back our van and clung to the back seat on the ground and was crying that he was scared. It broke my heart into a million pieces and I knew something happened. The previous afternoon my son's teacher brought him out to the car and said that he had a meltdown and the principal had to be called in and he wet himself. I contacted the school for answers as to what really happened the previous day and didn't get any answers so I went to the school district. I told them that I knew he was physically restrained and how I knew. Later that afternoon I received a phonemail from the teacher, assistant principal, principal and the school coordinator from the district. They informed me that he was physically restrained on April 17, 2017 even though I was never notified. I told them I wanted it in writing and that I had a question about a previous day on April 4th. When I went to the school they gave me a paper and I found out he was restrained not once on 4/17/17 but twice and that he was also physically restrained on 4/4/17. Berkeley County school district is allowed to physically restrain children but their is no accountability for the teachers and I was not notified and it was not properly documented. This is completely unacceptable and is almost criminal in my eyes. These new incidents on top of our son previously coming home with scratches at different times saying his teachers did it and sayings teachers were screaming at him just confirms that cameras need to be placed in EVERY special education class in the district immediately. Please sign and share this petition to show Berkeley County School District that you do not agree with the way things are and that changes need to be made immediately.
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