The Negative and Discriminatory Impact of Zero-Tolerance and Exclusionary Discipline Policies

Research shows that discriminatory discipline practices have a huge negative impact on students of color, students with disabilities, and other historically underserved students.

These practices often take shape as a result of zero-tolerance policies that apply strong punishments for particular infractions—including removing students from the classroom or school via suspensions and expulsions.

Most parents are not aware this is what’s happening until their child is already labeled a “problem child” and in his way to an alternative school for simply not sitting in his chair or completing an assignment.

Many districts and schools apply these policies to nonviolent and more subjective offenses, such as “willful defiance,” talking in class, tardiness, or truancy. Research shows that these policies result in negative consequences for student academic achievement, attainment, and welfare.

These policies are not only ineffective but also often applied in a discriminatory manner. Data provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection demonstrate that students of color and students with disabilities, among other historically underserved students, are disproportionately suspended and expelled compared with their White and nondisabled peers.

This was a key concern that the Obama administration discipline guidance was intended to address. Nevertheless, on December 21, 2018, the Trump administration rescinded this guidance and all supporting resources.

We cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.

Today’s students are our future senators, congressmen, presidents and leaders.

Effective Discipline Policies and Practices Designed to End Discrimination include:

  • Replacing zero-tolerance policies and the use of suspensions and expulsions for low-level offenses with strategies that teach social-emotional skills.
  • Providing targeted support for educators.
  • Eliminating disproportionate rates in student discipline through extensive trainings
  • Creating relationship-centered schools that support strong family and community engagement.

It can be and should be done! When did money become more important than humans or our future generation?

CBD -vs- Prescription Meds

From a symptom management perspective, there are several ways that cannabis may help with trauma.

Cannabis-based medicines have proved to

  • drastically reduce some types of seizures, and compounds like non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) also
  • have demonstrated potent antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects in preclinical experiments.

The cannabis plant is also being considered as a safe and effective alternative to opioid painkillers, which are associated with high overdose rates and come with a variety of difficult side effects, including constipation and low sex drive.

Endocannabinoids are like the body’s own cannabis.

They are molecules that the body produces naturally, and cells in the nervous and immune systems use them to communicate.

One primary component in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD), works by increasing levels of the body’s own endocannabinoids. Meanwhile, THC, the compound responsible for the classic cannabis “high” works by taking the place of natural endocannabinoids in the body.

I am writing about this because I have had my prescrideb PROZAC at age 8 years old! And because of the violent mood swings, suiciadal thoughts and actions have chosen to keep him completely off prescribed medication.

When researching I am learning more and more CBD and homeopathy (holistic) treatment may be a better option.

Please feel free to comment or give your experiences. At this time we will start homeopathy and go from there.

To me? All natural is better than meds that will change the way the brain functions! I have witnessed a child be medicated and just like my son after trauma from restraints, that child is totally different. One of the meds prescribed damaged him forever!

It’s not worth trying any medications on the market.

Exclusive: Local District sends Disabled Students to School Known for Abuse

It has been sometime since I have blogged but our story never ends. At a time where I have to decide on what school district to trust with my boys, I and reminded today of the reason public school is not an option.

Once again, students are suppose to feel safe at school with teachers. However, students with disabilities are abused daily and sent home to parents who’s have no idea what is happening.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/exclusive-disabled-students-allege-physical-abuse-at-hced-campuses

As a parent whose children were restrained over 37 times and sent home with bruises, where do I enroll my children? Where are my children safe? What government entity really cares?

Because we can not get any help from the great entities that are SUPPOSE TO PROTECT civil rights, ACLU, DISABILITY RIGHTS OF TEXAS, NAACP ECT…we will continue to speak out publicly I shed some sort of light on this issue.

America is fighting for immigrants and I support that cause, however what about our children in the United States?

Feel free to comment or leave suggestions.

“In a Child’s Voice”

As I struggle to not walk away…my son begins to remember the way he felt after being restrained in a “quiet room” at school.

I am reminded, he has a voice and a story…he wants to tell and should be heard.

It has been a while since I have blogged and I have no words as to why except I have been in prayer. We are under extreme scrutiny and that is okay. But this is our life after restraints.

“This is my sons story in his own words”

“Preventing School Violence by Starting with School Counselors”

In the weeks following yet another mass school shooting so many parents wonder why is this happening and what can they do to prevent it. Let me express one way beginning with the school counselors at our children’s schools.
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School counselors’ role is supposedly to improve your child’s academic success, career development and personal/social health. (ASCA 2016). Part of this should include helping children overcome issues that affect academics and overall wellness. Therefore counselors have an obligation to build positive relationships and rapport with ALL children in the school. Each student should trust their counselor enough to talk to him/her, which puts an adult in a position to stop violent behaviors and/or intervene in anyway possible.

Unfortunately, the role of school counselors have changed.

They are not available to counsel children because of the non-counselor duties they are given, which means they are not building relationships with the students nor any form of positive rapport. Instead they are completing state paperwork, assessments and other clerical duties.

As an advocate for my two adopted sons I recently filed a state complaint against the school counselor at our local school, for her participation in using restraints and isolation as a form of discipline for my son. The role of the school counselor are clear with the ASCA ( American School Counselor Association). School Counselors should advocate for students and NOT PARTICIPATE in any form of discipline.

What Can Parents Do?

  1. Inquire about the time your school counselor spend with the students and advocate for time to be spent with them.
  2. Contact the administrators and school board members and request the administrative duties be completed by non-counseling staff.
  3. Advocate for counselors to implement the ASCA’s “Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program”.

As a society we have to try whatever we feel will work to prevent another school shooting.As parents we can start at the counselors level by demanding students have a trusted adult to talk to and can possibly stop any future violent behaviors.

“Happy Birthday Alton!”

Happy Birthday to our lil man Alton!

This year he turns 8 years old and I have to say this has to be one of the most special ones yet. We had no idea we would have a year full of trauma and turmoil but God has guided us through to this point.

So I want to thank God for a special package he gave to me 8 years ago…without a doubt or question we stepped in Help his mom and dad. And our lives have not been the same since. I know so many parents say that but I speak the truth.

As we celebrate today, I want you all to know what Alton wants for his birthday.

He wants no more racism. Being a survivor of trauma, fighting everyday to gain his life back, Alton expresses we should love each other!

We came together as a family to keep our family together. And as we realize this world is full of more hate and racism and discrimination, we feel a need to speak up and make a difference. Our battle with our school district is much bigger than us and we know it.

But today we will celebrate this little ones special day! We love you Alton!

“The White House Should be in Texas”

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I can’t begin to express the emotions I’m feeling while fighting our local school district for simple accountability for their actions. You would think I was wrong for expecting it, but I am not.

Where is Justice for All?

Throughout the last 10 months I have come to the acceptance that the White House should be here in Texas not Washington, D.C. Money and politics run this state on every level. Our local school district ranks high in numbers and weigh heavy in cash flow, hence the reason I thought my two sons whom I adopted would be safe and free from harm…I could not have been more wrong.

The first thing I noticed is the internal cover up by school staff, Superintendent’s office and the school police department, but that’s to be expected since Texas supports government immunity for all those involved. When our news segment got to over 5000 shares and likes on Facebook and youtube is when I begin to realize it truly is about money and politics. It took one day for the news segment to be pulled.

Did they pay them to have it taken down? Not sure. What I am sure of is the news segment is no longer available online or through the news station and the reporter lied to me directing me to his social media account saying it was posted there. The community activist who said he wanted to help us and actually set up the segment to be recorded, also lied and said he didn’t know it wasn’t on the news archives. I just happen to have recorded it myself and was able to use it to get our story out.

As the fight grew stronger I was lead to file a complaint with the U.S. Office of Civil rights not realizing the retaliation me and the boys would have to endure, just wanting justice from someone or somewhere. Simultaneously, I met with The Disability Rights of Texas attorney who was eager to move forward and recognized so many laws the district had broken, however, she did not believe the Civil Rights Office would investigate or do anything for us. She was wrong. Thankfully the OCR accepted our complaint and filed four counts of retaliation and discrimination the district on my sons behalf. And the following week I got a call from the attorney frantically saying,

” we don’t know if we will still have an office here come September. I don’t even know if i will have a job. We don’t have the funds to litigate for you…they aren’t going to change their policies…they are restraining students all over the district…”

She had a total different attitude and was backing out of the case. She was not going to “pitch” our case to their larger litigators as she was so excited to do in our meeting. She just wanted out.

Five months in, I have a visitor at my door…a Child Protective Services investigator. Knowing this is the number one retaliation tactic I am cool and told him I was expecting this visit…until he tells me the accusations! Drugs and Sexual abuse of my babies, oh and I lock them in the closet…something the school district did.  I was speechless, but prayerful and ready to keep fighting no matter what. It was a full investigation with drug tests and medical reviews and interviews, but in the end it was a closed case. The sad thing is Child Protective Services did not care to know what the school had done to abuse my son, even after I was proven innocent. Government entities!

Next, there was the school district police who shows up at my door to “routinely” verify address for students…on a Saturday afternoon at 2pm.  The beginning of the school district trying to set up truancy charges…another great retaliation tactic of theirs. Seems to me more like harassment.

The most obvious reason I feel like this is the home for the White House is the OCR released a Dear Colleague Letter: Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities, a question and answer document that helps update educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders to better understand the rights of students with disabilities in public and charter schools under Section 504 and IDEA. There are several states mentioned that are being investigated for the very “therapeutic schools” my son is in and they are being sued for discrimination. If the federal government can come down on other states, why are they not looking at Texas for the same thing? Money and Politics.

We have not gotten the help we are told we should have from the Disability Rights of Texas, The NAACP, ACLU or any other civil rights organization, but refuse to give up on what we know is right. I am filled with emotions that I can not describe in words, because I live every day with the results of what this school district has done to my son. I am grateful for the OCR and their help because it had already made a difference in policies and procedures, but the retaliation is still in full affect.

Today I logged onto Facebook only to learn my account has been blocked for 30 days…why? Maybe to stop me from driving traffic to our blog and website. This comes after the principal learned her lies were being recorded by me and she was not happy. It is just unreal to think this is where I thought my son would be safe. Instead he is being bullied, threatened by calling the police and made out to be the problem child.

God will prevail in the end. This is not about monetary gain but about a seven -year old little boy who is broken from what adults decided to do. A child with a voice who understands what has happens and will not rest until justice is served.

Money and politics is what this world is about but God created it all and I chose to let God be the one to decide in the end.

“Bullied While Others Watch in Silence”

“I had a bad day mom. All the kids bullied me and the teachers didn’t do anything”.

“Everyone laughed at me in PE and called me a baby…the teachers laughed too”

“A kid put up his middle finger at me and all she said was she didn’t see it…the cameras right there”

The list can go on and on with the stories heard in the last two months but Lets stop for a second and ponder on the question…how does a parent send their child back to a school environment such as this?

It is one thing to have your child be bullied, teased, and even physically injured by a student peer, but to think the teachers or staff are present when the incident occurs is unacceptable. Especially when the student is in a “therapeutic” environment where positive life skills and behaviors are described to be priority.

The golden rule was once taught: “Treat others how you want to be treated”. It’s sad but it no longer exist in 2017.  Instead we have discrimination at its finest, boldly presented in your face, daring the parent or student pursue it.

It leaves me absolutely speechless when I experience a child expressing the hurt they feel from being laughed at while school staff do nothing. Or to hear a child say,

“I hid in a locker because that’s what bullies do to people and that’s how I felt, so I put myself in there.”  

No child should feel such low self esteem of themselves. I have had enough. If you are blessed to have a child express bullying to you, please do not stand by and do nothing. By the time he comes to you he has already dealt with it for a while…and is calling for help.  You are obligated to help!

As for our school staff sitting in silence? God sees all and children are our future. If you allow them To be damaged from bullying as you watch, what do we have to look for in the future!

This has been published pursuant to free speech.

“Breaking Through Betrayal…Turning Trauma into Trust”

Hello everyone we haven’t updated much since the storm and having to truly decide on homeschool or not.
The decision has not been an easy one but we have choosen Homeschooling…it’s sad to say but as excited as Alton was to go to school his first two days he witnessed a child get hit and then was hit himself by another student (on both days)…and while at the nurse office saw more “quiet rooms” which caused flashbacks and traumatic responses. Although this school is suppose to be a therapeutic one, there is not much therapy going on.

When Alton’s response from the quiet room” triggers was that of fight-flight-freeze, instead of calming the situation, the staff created a hostile one…in turn creating a negative response.

With that being said, it was not hard to keep him home after hearing him tell his side of what transpired both days, it was hard to make the final decision though. Having family and friends express their concerns for me and the affects homeschooling would have, gave me joy. However,  I had to remind them and myself  this is bigger than “me” and this fight will demand sacrifices. So through Tropical Storm Harvey I remained prayerful and decided I will homeschool Alton rather than re traumatize him.

As we wait for our ARD Meeting with the school district and its legal representation, Alton is able to feel safe and learn as he should. After eight months of PTSD I can say I see his smile more and more! Which equals progress! And as long as there is progress I will continue to press forward. Is it easy, no! But it will get easier. Altons mental health and future is priority for me. Knowing if we do not break through the barriers of trauma now, we will not have a breakthrough later…only a breakdown!

This has been published pursuant to free speech.

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