This great article addresses school violence against teachers, laying much of it at the feet of special ed students who are involved in a disproportionate number of violent incidents. One teacher ended up in the rubber room because he defended himself. Why are more special ed kids involved in violent acts? Should they be restrained? How can teachers can be judged by test scores with violence in their schools?

Photo by coba

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2 Responses to School Violence and Special Ed

  1. JB says:

    My opinions only — I’m unaware of any studies on this. But common sense will take you pretty far.
    1. More special ed students are involved in violence for a variety of reasons. Leading off, you can get a special ed designation for emotional disturbances such as ODD and for ADHD leading to impulsiveness. So by definition there would be a higher incidence of violence in these 2 categores of kids.
    2. A classroom environment can be very stressful, and even more so for children who struggle academically or socially, or who don’t find it easy to be surrounded by a crowd at all times.
    3. Some children with disabilities have to relate to a truly astounding number of adults in the course of the day (mainstream teacher, special ed teacher, pull-out teachers, teaching assistant, specials teachers, maybe speech teacher, OT provider …. you get the picture. I think this often gets to be a source of stress in and of itself. It requires the child to switch gears awfully often, and to learn the “rules of the road” with an awfully large number of authority figures.
    4. By the time they are teens (and these are the children that teachers have every reason to fear), many kids and not just special ed kids are tired of an academic curriculum. Regular kids have an easier time of it than special ed kids in squelching their disappointment that they’re being marched through a curriculum that doesn’t match up with their interests or goals.

  2. Thank you, JB. This gets me thinking about my son who gave me a whack yesterday after school because I wouldn’t buy him ice cream. As you point out the stressors are myriad for these kids. And how much more difficult when faced with all of those adults. Thank goodness, my son knows who to whack at the end of the day: me. Thank you for your astute comments.

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