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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips
Preaching to the Choir
The amazing rise in aggressive, disruptive behaviors in young children is not just something being experienced by your school system. It is evident throughout Maryland and if the discussions held at this past week’s annual conference in Dallas at LRP are any indication, it is something being experienced throughout the country. The “whys” for the increase are varied and include drug and alcohol use by pregnant women, dysfunctional families, a lack of parenting skills, children giving birth to children, the emotional illness of the parents, and a failure of parents to teach children how to behave in a civil manner. But whatever the reason, the children attend the public schools and the public schools are obligated to provided appropriate educations for them. Everyone knows there is an adverse impact on other students and staff when an aggressive, disruptive child is in the classroom and his behavior is not under control. Teachers cannot teach, children cannot learn, and people are getting hurt.
There is an immediate need in every school system for more BCBAs, social workers, school psychologists, special educators and small structured classes so the behaviors can be addressed. All it takes is money. Lots of it. But there is no choice. Make sure your Board of Education members and the funding authorities are aware of these important needs. You must get the Maryland State Teachers Association involved in this effort. Go to the Maryland State Board of Education meetings and let the State Board know what is going on, particularly with the very young children. The State Board also needs to know that it is all well and good to seek to minimize suspensions for students, but in order to address the behaviors that are resulting in the suspensions, and to provide continuing educations for students who are being disciplined, there needs to be funding for these additional staff positions and for small structured classes. Imagine the impact if every public school employee advocated to their local and State representatives outlining the problems and the need for additional funding for positions and classes.