and Advocates Say Too Many Schools Use Cops to Manage Classrooms
by Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express, December 29,
For more articles like this
Since the 1997
version of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was
released, educators and school officials have been calling
police more often to handle "behavior problems" involving
students with disabilities.
The use of the justice system to deal with school-related
behavior incidents has become common enough across the nation
that the Center for Law and Education developed strategies for
parents to sue school districts in such cases.
In its 2001 report, "When Schools Criminalize Disability;
Education Law Strategies for Legal Advocates," the center
accused some administrators of using police as a way of forcing
students with disabilities out of their schools rather than
spending the resources needed to help the students to succeed in
"This is a major problem," said Richard Lavallo, attorney in the
Austin office of Advocacy Inc.
"They call police, the situation escalates and the child freaks
out," Lavallo told the Houston Chronicle. "The child starts
hitting back and they end up in a juvenile facility."
Even police acknowledge that they are sometimes misused.
"It happens a bunch of times," said Texas Association of School
District Police President Lt. Jeff Ward. "The police officer
should not be a shortcut to classroom management."
"Schools accused of criminalizing disability" (Houston
"When Schools Criminalize Disability/Education Law Strategies
for Legal Advocates" (Center for Law and Education)
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