Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Blackboard Jungle

By Capt. Fogg

So let me get this straight -- a congressional bill designed to keep untrained school personnel from tying your kid to a chair or radiator and choking the life out of him is a bad thing, even though a 2009 report from the GAO found
"hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death related to the use of these methods on school children during the past two decades."

"These methods" according to Raw Story, include a teacher sitting on a kid, mechanical restraints that might choke or restrict breathing and methods that in at least some cases, have killed children. "These methods," particularly when used against children with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy have had grave and even fatal results and I'm quite sure that any of you with children would have something to say had your kid been strapped into a chair or held face down and suffocated. The Keeping All Students Safe Act, H.R. 4247 passed 262-153 in Congress and is designed to:

(1) prevent and reduce the use of physical restraint and seclusion in schools;

(2) ensure the safety of all students and school personnel in schools and promote a positive school culture and climate;

(3) protect students from—

(A) physical or mental abuse;

(B) aversive behavioral interventions that compromise health and safety; and

(C) any physical restraint or seclusion imposed solely for purposes of discipline or convenience;

(4) ensure that physical restraint and seclusion are imposed in school only when a student’s behavior poses an imminent danger of physical injury to the student, school personnel, or others….

Perhaps Congressmen don't have children or perhaps they are simply psychotic enough to see any federal action or regulation of any kind as a threat to freedom so grave that basic human rights are worth ignoring. 145 Republicans voted against the bill last week; only 24 voted yea. Iowa Representative Steve King probably spoke for many in insisting that the Keeping All Students Safe Act would be a first step toward a "federal takeover of the education system." We heard that scummy excuse in the 50's when schools were being desegregated and "states rights" became a euphemism for depriving people of freedom, justice and sometimes even life.

Do we have hypocrisy here, or just garden variety dishonesty -- or maybe it's more of that congressional multiple personality disorder that has these august idiots equating the abusive abridgment of civil rights by a school principal with freedom, but the Constitution's promise; the upholding of humane treatment or the very right to life of students is called a "federal takeover." When the government itself and the Republican party specifically is so afraid of the federal government that it will refuse to protect children from possibly lethal abuse by local government, perhaps it's time to sit on these dangerously disturbed, irresponsible, stupid and incompetent partisan child molesters and see how they like it.

Yes, we all want a government that has little to say about our personal choices and conduct, but that feeling is quite universal, as much as Republicans claim it for their own. What is not universal amongst sane and honest people is the desire to give the power of life and death to local school board Death Panels to prevent a wholly imaginary "federal takeover" and if there ever was a reason to restrain or isolate and punish anyone this is a perfect example.

If there is one thing clear and easily visible in American politics today, is that there is a political party that has been insisting 'it's a jungle out there' for so long, they've made America into one.

(Cross posted from Human Voices)


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