Thursday, April 21, 2016

School Combat: Why Students are Getting Hit By Teachers and School Security

School Combat: Why Students are Getting Hit By Teachers and School Security

This morning's news brings yet another report of a student being "attacked" by a teacher in a classroom.  This is just another in a string of reports of students being pushed out of their desks, thrown to the ground or otherwise strong-armed in the classroom by teachers or school security guards during the school day.

Why is this happening?

I know some of you may say I'm blaming the victim here, but... well, there is plenty of blame to go around.  This epidemic of Adult to Student abuse has come after decades of student coddling and befriending by the school system, resulting in an air of disrespect and chaos in the classroom.

What's left is a bunch of burned out and yes, abused teachers and staff, spending days trying to teach disrespectful and defiant students - amid a group of students who want to learn and are trying to do the right thing.

Mix in the menagerie of social and cultural issues, poverty, drug use, kids coming from homes that allow disrespect and physical fighting amongst themselves and you have ... well.  THIS.  An environment where kids are afraid of their fellow students AND the staff.

In this particular case, it is said the student was talking back to the teachers-aide before the video was filmed.   No excuse... but... well..... Should the child have respected his teachers, his elders?  Should his parents have taught him that?

Below is a link to this newest case... but there will be more to come, no doubt, until kids are taught both at home and in Kindergarten how to respect the school system and the importance of their own education and those who are there to teach them.

Those of us who have troubled kids have spent plenty of time going to the schools to pick up the kids after an incident.  Angry outbursts, verbal abuse, Yes, I've had kids who have gone-off on teachers verbally - been stubborn and acted out - already in special ed classes because of their special circumstances, but the teacher's and staff I've worked with have always been prepared, - we've discussed what steps to take and they have spaces to remove the students too.  My foster kids have known that if I had to come to school to get them.. they would lose privileges and well... they knew I had greater expectations for them and we would troubleshoot with the care team to deal with their behaviors.  Let's just say they'd come home and be splitting wood for days. :)

Most of these cases that hit the news result in lawsuits against the schools and no consequences for the child's behavior that may have initiated the issue.

What do you think?  Can we do better?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring Cleaning with Foster Kids Could Mean Wake Up Calls

By John and Diane

April 9 2016

Spring Cleaning is something the whole family can contribute too. Remember - if a child can operate a cell phone or gaming device, they can operate a broom!

When you have foster children in the house, or kids who have suffered trauma, you want to supervise and "help" in cleaning their private spaces so that you can key into troubles that they may be hiding - things that you may have missed up to this point.  Troubled kids are great at hiding the things that clue you in to their distress, and you may have been lulled into a false sense of security when things seem to be going well in the household.

Things you might find and what you should do:

*  Kids room or bathroom area:   bottles, or containers of urine.   I've had kids store urine in containers IN THE BATHROOM.  Boggles the mind, right?

What to do: Talk about it.  Kids do this for many reasons. Insecurity, fear, it is usually seen in children who have been sexually traumatized, but really, it's a fear response, so, it needs to be dealt with frankly and honestly.   Ask the child to dispose of the urine and clean the bathroom or room/area that it was stored in.  Ask the child what would make him/her feel safer.   Read:

Why is My Foster or Adopted Kid Urinating in The Closet (in a Jar, Towel, Hamper, Soda Can): The Red (or Yellow in this Case) Flag and How to Deal with It.

*  Kids Bedroom:  Drug paraphernalia :  Discuss it with the kids - Case workers - Remove items

*  Kids Bedroom:  Sexually Used Items:  i.e.: teddy bears with holes cut in them etc.  Discard and have an open discussion with your kids about how to masterbate.  I KNOW.  But - you have to have an open and healthy approach to sex, especially if you have a household with kids who have been sexually traumatized, so, if it's not treated as a big deal by you - you can make it a healthy discussion and be aware of any troubling sexual thoughts or actions between kids. 

This is also a great time to refresh your HOUSE RULES and put new rules into place. For example, if you kids are old enough - teach them now how to do their own laundry or take on new chores.  If you don't have a rule about CELL PHONES (Turn in all devices to parents at night for charging), put this into effect NOW.  We also recommend that you have passcode to all your child's devices. IF they change the code, they lose the device for a week. 

Overall, Spring cleaning together teaches foster kids many things. 1. that they participate in an event as a family, 2. that you are aware of what happens in ALL SPACES in the house and that 3. you are an ally in the home and will deal with all issues directly and properly.