As the nation expresses outrage over the treatment of immigrant children who have been separated from their families, we have to ask, "What about disabled school kids every day?" What about Rotenberg School in Massachusetts that electrocutes children with aversive behavior techniques? It's interesting how the media picks up some stories and makes them headline news for outrage while others are orphaned. Especially those that deal with children with special needs. Our children deserve better.
From SF Gate: "It's a Cage"
In the photo, Gigi Daniel-Zagorites grips the edge of a small bookcase, her tilted head peering over. The bookcase and a cabinet barricade the 13-year-old in one corner of a classroom. Two women sit, backs turned.
Months have passed since the moment in September when a classmate at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Loudoun County captured that image on an iPad. But many questions have yet to be answered for Gigi's mother, Alexa Zagorites.
Why was her daughter, who has a disorder that hampers her ability to speak, confined? How long was she there? How often did this happen?
"I was embarrassed for Gigi. I was sad for Gigi. I was worried. I couldn't imagine what was going on in her mind because she can't tell me," Zagorites said. "It's a cage."
Gigi's experience isn't unique. Thousands of schoolchildren, most of whom have disabilities, are involuntarily confined in U.S. schools each year. In the 2015-2016 school year, more than 36,000 students throughout the country were subjected to seclusion, according to federal data released in April. Nearly 86,000 more were restricted from moving freely by a school worker holding the child or by being immobilized by other restraints, such as handcuffs.