Article About Child with Special Needs Overlooks the Facts
I scooped an article for my Scoop.it Special Needs Parenting & Blogging because they wrote about a news story report on WJBK Fox 2 News about a teenager with special news who had sex in a bathroom on school grounds.
Her parents felt that the school was at fault for not supervising the 15-year-old well enough, but the article I scooped from NOIZE News (link at bottom of article) was of the opinion that the parent was blaming the school for not parenting her child. They compared the mother’s complaint about the school to a simple parent-expecting-the-school-to do it all situation. I don’t think it is that cut and dried.
Here’s an excerpt from their article:
The girl’s mother quickly jumped on the school blame train. She also said that someone should have stopped her from entering the bathroom. She believes that the school should be held accountable for failing to constantly supervise her daughter.
And why not? After all, the school has cameras in the hallway and employs five security officers to roam the halls. Surely at least one of them was on the same floor as this girl and could have stopped her from going into the boy’s bathroom.
And maybe tomorrow, pigs will fly and I will be a Mega Millions Jackpot winner.
The simple fact of the matter is that no one can watch a student’s every single move in a school, much as a parent cannot watch their child’s every move at home …
— See on www.noizenews.com
Here’s my note on this, though. I understand and 100% agree with their initial discussion over parental responsibility. It’s far too easy in today’s society to dismiss our primary responsiblity toward our children, special needs or not, in favor of expectations (expecting others to do the hard work).
But, There are Reasons for an IEP for Children with Special Needs
But here’s my counter. We don’t know all the details about this situation, but many students with special needs do not understand the implications of dealing with sex at all, much less the dangers of engaging in this behavior. And there are some students with special needs who literally have maladjustment issues and co-diagnoses which mean that they are MORE sexually aware – it’s part of their disability.
Part of have a child with special needs who’s a student means that you need to have someone look out for them when you can’t. You trust those at school to do this if they are aware of your child’s disability – especially if it is written in their IEP. IEPs are legally binding documents, they aren’t a parent’s gripe session or a way for parents to make someone else responsible for their children – they are to help a child with a disability be treated fairly in the school environment, to be appropriately educated.
I would argue that ANY student who is able to participate in sexual acts in the middle of the school day in a bathroom (multiple times) is a child who isn’t being supervised appropriately in the school setting. Period.
It’s disappointing that their post notes none of the appropriate reasons why this might have been a good move on the mother’s part, rather than scorning her for expecting the schools to educate her daughter and teach her appropriate life skills, which don’t generally include hands-on sex education. Just sayin’
What do you think? Did NOIZE have the right idea? Or was the mom right to say the school should have supervised her daughter, who had special needs, more effectively (She was under an IEP for a reason, after all)?