FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – A mother in Twin Valley, Minnesota, doesn’t think enough is being done to keep her son safe at school. Sarah Green’s son, whom they call Junior, has autism and is non-verbal.
Green claims that the Dec. 21 incident in East Norman County in a small room was the final straw for her and her family. They expelled Junior from school.
“There are three teachers standing over him in this room with football pads teaching him how to block and tackle. They were using them to keep him from falling off the floor. Greene was retelling what her husband had seen.
Junior comes home with injuries to his face and is told by the school that the injuries were self-inflicted. Green believes school districts across the country need more resources to handle students with special needs. She also said an investigation had been launched by the Minnesota Department of Education.
“You can’t walk into a hospital or a nursing home and start working. It takes six to eight weeks of training and a CNA license to actually work. Why is it not the same for the most vulnerable children? Is it?” Green said.
According to Norman County East Superintendent Rob Noudel, the school district has policies and state-of-the-art training for teachers and associate professionals.
“Quality training comes year after year, throughout the year. These are the facts that I share with you there,” Noodle said. “Our staff are highly trained. We are doing what we do best for our children.”
Green believes the problem is much larger in the hope that Minnesota will address these issues for students statewide. One way I mentioned is through the Keep All Students Safe Act, which was introduced into the U.S. Senate last year and endorsed by 15 states, but Minnesota is not one of them.
Excerpt from the ‘Keeping All Students Safe Act’ fact sheet by Robert C. ‘Bobby’ Scott:
• Isolation, mechanical restraint, chemical restraint, respiratory restriction, or life-threatening physical restraint (including prone and supine positions) is prohibited.
• Require certification of staff performing physical restraints that meet additional requirements.
• Prohibit physical restraint as a planned intervention.When
• Require parental notification and a follow-up meeting if physical restraint occurs.
“I really hope this bill gets passed because what it says in the bill, like the tiny confined room, didn’t happen. Something like that would never have happened,” Green said.
The Minnesota Department of Education has reached out for comment, but said it has no information available to the public regarding the case in accordance with state law.
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