Ann Arbor News: My Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor –
Parents are supposed to send their children to school with the basic belief they will return home, safe, sound and without physical or emotional signs of abuse.  This is not the case in the Wayne Intermediate School District (WISD) and for far too many Michigan students with disabilities (and without) in both our public and private schools.
Physical and emotional abuse, seclusion, restraint, physical harm and even death have and are occurring in our schools, and far too often than written about in our newspapers or in complaints filed by parents.  Two Michigan children with disabilities have died due to abusive practices by education personnel and yet our State has no law that prohibits these practices in our schools.  The State Board of Education passed “standards” that prohibit only the use of “restraint” and with no requirements for teacher or staff training on positive behavioral plans, strategies or interventions.
What will it take in Michigan before Governor Granholm (in her two remaining years and eventual legacy) and our all-too-term-limited Legislature; propose, pass and sign a law that protects all Michigan children with and without disabilities, from potential abuse and abusive practices in our public and private schools?  How many more children will suffer?  How many more will die?  And when will we be able to focus on the meaningful education of our students with special needs (30% drop out of Michigan schools); instead of the devastating distractions of physical and emotional abuse?
Marcie Lipsitt

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