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April 12, 2007

Comments

Sue Keller

What will it take for schools to realize the extent of their responsibility? It will take the parents bringing lawsuits against school systems and refusing to settle them. Parents must insist on taking the case to court, so that schools can't insist on any kind of confidentiality agreement. It will take the parents speaking out to the media, over and over.

Our children will be safer when the school systems have enough money to adequately train and adequately compensate one on one aides for kids with disabilities. Special ed. bus drivers and bus monitor/aides must also be trained and paid properly. All of these people receive among the lowest payscales (and least training?) of all school personnel.

Lacey Diekmann

I agree with all that is said. It's a tough situation when schools have so much responsibility placed upon them, taking children's lives into their hands. Many times, schools and special education teams have many things stacked against them and with all that they do, public education funds are limited. Aids and other classified staff are underpaid, overworked and carry much more responsibility than they probably realize until something like this tragic event happens. It requires proper hiring and training of dedicated and caring staff to ensure that students needs are put before ANYTHING else and many of these staff members don't realize their importance. I wish they received more education and training to work with kids, especially when working with students with disabilities.

Leila Johnson

My 13 yr old son was allegedly sexually assualted by 2 boys. when the licensed childcare provider, been allowing him to leave her facility. She was never charged with child endangerment or neglect. Who will fight for our children.

J. Horen

Our daughter was placed behind a locked classroom door with the window covered!! We were denied access unless we gave 24 hours notice. We found a medical student in the classroom (alone) with her and found out that evaluations and examinations were done on these disabled (all nonverbal, immobile) children without parental knowledge or consent. Sick!! Currently in litigation.

Ann Gaydos

What will it take for schools to realize the extent of their responsibility? It will take the parents bringing lawsuits against school systems and refusing to settle them. Parents must insist on taking the case to court, so that schools can't insist on any kind of confidentiality agreement. It will take the parents speaking out to the media, over and over.

Sadly, this is true. When our young daughter was abused by a teacher at Cupertino Union School District, she was failed by the district, the school board, CPS (who have no jurisdiction over public school teachers in CA,) and the police (they told us they usually don't prosecute teachers for physical abuse unless the injuries are at the level of broken bones because they "believe the board and district will sort it out." Hah!) So we were left with a lawsuit. The administrators don't pay for their own legal defense (we tax-payers take care of that for them,) and we wouldn't accept a confidentiality clause, so they fought the case all the way through trial, where they inevitably lost. Their defense, such as it was, careened between denying objective facts to efforts to trivialize the damages to confused lying to repugnant attempts to blame the victim and her family. The jurors found the defendants to be callous, arrogant, and blatantly dishonest. Most of the worst offenders resigned (with their pensions intact, of course) and the district was placed under judicial oversight for two years, so we feel somewhat successful in making at least a little dent in an unhealthy culture. Unfortunately, lawsuits are the only way to provide some measure of accountability for callous and recalcitrant school districts. Parents who go through the process make the world a little safer for all of our children. It's just unfortunate that we, as tax payers, have to pay for the defense of people who hurt our children and have to subsidize their lawyers' efforts to defend and thereby promote an abusive culture.

Ed. I applaud your courage and tenancity.

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