2010 Shows

When it comes to discipline in the classroom, where should the line be drawn? Dr. Phil continues his discussion about the use of restraints in school. Joining him is Areva Martin, civil and family attorney and author of The Everyday Advocate. Dr. Phil talks to Virginia and Andreas, who say they grew concerned when their autistic son came home with bruises. Virginia says that when she started asking questions, she was admonished by the school administration for spying on her son, and she later learned that he was being secluded in the basement of the school. Areva explains how parents can fight for their child’s rights, particularly kids with special needs. And, Jessica says she’ll do anything to find the best school for her 4-year-old autistic son, Aiden, even if it means moving to another town. Her husband, Kevin, thinks she’s obsessed with her mission and says he refuses to move. Can Jessica get the best treatment for Aiden and also keep her marriage intact?

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: blessednumber2 on Mar 19, 2015, 7:03AM
As a mother of a child who has special needs & was restrained in his classes, my interest piqued when I saw this show today. My son has severe bipolar cycles. He was also diagnosed with Aspergers 10 years ago(He is 20). Parents NEED to be involved. Teachers are not babysitters. Parents need to work together and learn about the laws in their state. Laws change, but teachers are not always trained on new rules. 

At the same time we had to manage schools, laws, rights, etc., we had to work And teach our son how to become a responsible adult. Our son now lives on his own & just married. Two life events we were told by multiple professionals, would never happen. Our sons prognosis was that he would either have to live with us for ever or live in an adult group home. We were adamant that it would not happen. Mental illness affects the whole family. The whole family needs to be involved.
Replied By: specific on Apr 30, 2010, 12:27PM
Parents and the public are not generally given the full story of how children are treated in the public schools.  It is unfortunate that parents of special needs children have insisted that their children be mainstreamed into the classrooms of the public schools.  In having these children in the school system, they have set up these isolation rooms and use restraining techniques among other things to handle these children.  These things would not normally be in the school, but since they are, they are often used on the other children as a means to discipline.  I think there should be better ways to handle the special children, but they certainly should never use these discipline tactics on the other children.  It is my opinion that the specials children should go to special schools that are set up to handle their needs.  I can't imagine that they are learning that much and by having this chaos in the school it is disruptive and distracting to the other students.
Replied By: jocelynkira on Apr 30, 2010, 8:25AM
I am a mother of 2 children and also worked in a childcare facility for 5 years. The cases shown on your show were all outrageous and disgusting aside from the one concerning the 5 year old girl. When I saw her clip it brought me back to when I was working in the office at a daycare. I am a small woman at 4'11" and was often called upon to remove children disturbing the class. There were often children cursing, biting, kicking, tripping, throwing things...completely out of control. We took many classes on early childhood education covering many different areas but never one on physical restraint. I have had to restrain children often by sitting on a chair in front of the child (also on a chair) and holding their hands with my hands and holding their feet with my feet. Even after the child would calm down and I would release him, the behavior would start back at square one. Bravo to the teacher on your show who has found other ways of dealing with these students but I ask all others instead of trying to be so PC, spend an hour in the educator's shoes and then tell me how you feel about restraints. Being that it was a daycare and not a public school, there were children with behavioral disorders, ADD, ADHD and even Autism. Many of the parents were in denial and refused to get the children evaluated and insisted they be in our classes when instead they really needed 1 on 1 attention. Our hands were tied. Aside from discharging the child from our school, there was nothing we could do. Discipline starts at home but like you said, "these parents know what they are dropping off" and shouldn't expect more than what they give themselves.
Replied By: anna200 on Apr 27, 2010, 7:03PM - In reply to davewriter
Thanks Davewriter! You can copy the web address to go to the documentary website. It would be nice if you could just click on the link but that causes all kinds of other issues. That comment you refered to was from my own personal online stalker. She has been following me for over a year now. Did you notice her posting name is "afteru" I just report her & continue what im doing.
I am so happy Dr. Phil is starting to believe what is happening to our children. I wrote him over 3 years ago when this happened to my son. I have written him several times through out the years. This last show was really good and I hope he does more. I have several well documented cases with plenty of evidence & videos. I wish he would contact me, our children need this dirty secret exposed & corrected.
Thank you for replying.
Replied By: exaide on Apr 27, 2010, 7:30AM
I was a class room aide in an MRDD class room, and I left due to a teacher using a restraint that was not allowed to be used on this particular child.  He had flipped over backwards and had hit his head.  Unfortunately, the principal was not in that day.  I called the administration offices and let them know what had happened.  Due to confidentiality, I could not go to the parents.  That was what I had thought at the time.  I did go to CPS and file abuse and neglect charges against the teacher.  When I followed up, I was told that this had been a "professional disagreement" between teacher and aide.  There are IEP's (individual education program) designed for children with special needs that the parents agree to beforehand!  Just wanted to vent.
Replied By: vinnik98 on Apr 26, 2010, 4:13PM
None of my comment has to do with  Special Needs children. So before anyone comments on my being cruel, I AM NOT INCLUDING SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN IN MY OPINION. 
   I feel that there is nothing wrong with including legal punishment on a child. Children have been too coddled by their parents in this day and age. They are not taught that no really does mean no and that there are consequences. Their parents for some reason seem to make them think that people are going to put up with their tantrums and misbehavior. 
  The five year old that was just unleashing punches and slaps on her teacher is so NOT OK. I would have told my child very good there you go, you hit your teacher and don't stop when she says stop of course the police are going to get involved, NOT GET MAD AT THE SCHOOL AND TEACHER AND SUE! 

  The 12 year old that wrote on her desk...book em dan.o! That's right, I don't know what 12 year old does not know that it is illegal to vandalize, whether outside on a wall or fence or on their desk in school. And if she was bored oh well, get a piece of paper. I would have told my son's teacher to make him clean desks for a month on top of his arrest. 

  The problem is that parents are not supporting teachers they are fighting them and expecting them to raise them and instill in them all of their manners and etiquette that they are supposed to have to get through life. Teachers and students have enough to deal with these days without having to handle out of control children in the classroom disrupting lessons. 

   Now I do not say there could not have been other actions taken in both cases or even in the one with the little boy who took a 2 1/2 in gun to school, but the point is that in ALL cases there are also handbooks with student behavior and consequences sent out that ALL pretty much in the end goes back to being able to get legal authorities involved. It is just a matter of that people are always surprised and unhappy when it is their child that the boot finally drops on. 
  My child got in trouble at school recently after being warned by myself and his teachers they called me and mentioned wanting to suspend him the next day I said no suspend him today and make him have to make it up 2 days of his summer vacation. I am NOT for coddling and making excuses for my child and trying to act like he does no wrong and is too special for reprimanding. I tell him I am raising a responsible MAN, that will be accountable, responsible and respectiful. He will understand no and know that rules include him.

Replied By: mar0525 on Apr 26, 2010, 11:04AM
My 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in Nov. 07 and I have worried since that day and will continue to worry about the care she receives while she in school.  My daughter is non-verbal and she is not able to tell me if she is being mistreated or drug around or thrown in a closet or anything.  I want to trust the care that I put my child in because she needs to be in school and learn, but I shouldn't have to worry if someone is abusing her (verbally, physically or mentally). 

Someone please tell me that I shouldn't worry....and what steps should I take to make sure my daughter is being treated like I would treat her (even though no one can come close to the love and feelings I show her!!!)

Thank you!
Replied By: gypsymusic on Apr 26, 2010, 10:49AM
Jessica is my granddaughter...she is one of the BEST mothers I know....Kevin is one of the BEST dads I know...Kevin said they are both from "broken" homes...that is a huge understatement. Most people could not walk, where these two have been drug. It is in large part one reason why they take their family responsibilities so seriously. Raising any child is a challenge,but one with Special Needs requires an effort unknown to any but those who are faced with this added pressure.

Talk is indeed cheap,and there is a tremendous difference in being a "good mommy"...such as I myself was....and being a Good Mother/Father,such as these two are doing,neither of whom had a steller history of good examples from which to draw.

Kevin gave Jessica the finest compliment I've ever heard a man give a woman,when he said he loved her...wanted to marry her...for he "knew she would be a good mother to his children..." . In the dark moments of marriage, I trust they will remember and treasure the  love behind the committment, and hang onto the Hope of Healing,all hurt suffered.

It is remarkable they  have sustained one another,even when they are not aware of the Gift (s) they bring to their marriage...to their children....and to those fortunate enough to include them in their lives.
They are both quiet in their manners....deliberate in their love....and perhaps unable at times to know ....to see...to appreciate....their own strengths, but it is evident in how they live their lives.

While Jessica may appear, to some viewers, as too focused on Aiden's autism, to  give the necessary,quality attention to Lilly, please know that is not the case. She is spread quite thin with the many and varied responsibilities of any young mom,but both kids are very well cared for in all respects.She is a wonderful  cook...planner...homemaker...hands on mom...loving...warm...kind...gentle...clean...punctual...dependable...talented...very smart...far too many qualities to list. Kevin is a dedicated dad...hard worker...loyal...keenly intelligent....faithful,kind man, taking all his family needs into constant consideration. If anything is amiss, it's that they do not but on very rare occasion.... have anyone geographically close who is willing and/or able to assist them from time to time,even for a dinner and movie night out.  They do as many family outings as possible,and enjoy those moments, but every marriage can benefit from some quiet couple time too.

Regarding the "discipline" discussed on the show,and their fear as parents that Aiden may at some point be the recipient of such demeaning,disgraceful,horrifying tactics,it should be apparent that their fear is real. These kids are many times non-verbal,and who is there for them,if we are not as a whole society,tuned in and watching, expecting...demanding... the best for our kids?

The root word for "discipline", is "disciple', meaning,"to teach". What are we teaching,if thru no fault of their own, suffering already ,locked in a prison without bars, that our reaction to their plight might be a pine coffin sized box? Or hand cuffed to a chair? Sent home with brusies or scratches....and what of the bruises on their very soul,unseen, but imbedded forever?  What message is that?  We have more respect and laws governing our PETS,than our kids. 

I have great respect  and empathy for teachers. Their burden is enormous...their duties unquestionably difficult and frustrating. The solutions must be as faceted as the problems, but if we as parents...as a society...make a DECISION to address this growing problem,alternatives can be found and proper help given. It isn't about what is "fair"..it is about what is "right"....

I am deeply grateful to Dr. Phil for making it possible to expose the many family related issues he brings to millions of viewers around the world. He and Robin take Family to Heart...and by the Hand. They are committed to  helping everyone  who appears on their show and absolutely keep their word on any promises for resources made to guests. All expenses are provided and people are treated like royalty,from the entire staff. It is an amazing effort and untold hours of dedicated people,all giving  to the cause, but we all must have realistic expectations from an hour show,and do the Hard Work of Healing,long after the lights fade to black...

Replied By: mariam215 on Apr 26, 2010, 7:14AM - In reply to skeetersmom
I'm so sorry for any parent who's child has had to deal with peers that are unstable. I have worked in an inner city school for over 15 years and have seen a lot of violence.  Not all the children are out of control, but that's now who we're talking about. The children who "ruin" it for the others are the ones that have NO social skills, NO parenting at home, NO respect for others or any form or conscience.  I have seen children stab others for looking at them. Punch someone in the face and make them bleed for accidently stepping on their foot in line, punch pregnant teachers in the stomach after a request was made that they get in line, choke teachers, grab a teacher's breasts from behind, throw chairs, curse and threaten school personnel and students...oh, did I mention I work in a K-4 school ? Yes, Kindergarten to 4th grade. I love my job and most of the children love me. Even the students I have described, have a certain level of "love" for me, however they lack the skills to deal with every day disappointment or issues.  Some are labeled Emotionally Disturbed. Some are on medication. Some are Learning Disabled. MOST are children of average intelligence, not diagnosed with a thing, and still, are dangerous children to be around. I just saw one of my previous 3rd graders on the news...he is now 18 and is in jail for murder.  He apparently walked up to 2 young men, thought they were someone else, when he found out they weren't who he thought, said to his friend "let's do it anyway." He then shot these 2 children in the head and when he was arrested, the police officers said he was "evil, with no conscience."  Looking at my notes from the year I taught him, next to his name, I wrote "No conscience, intentionally mean to others." I tried to get him help and he was enrolled in our Mental Health program until he was 16.  I hate to say it, but these behaviors we see on the news and hear about do not begin in middle school. They do not manifest in High School. They are learned or inherited from birth.  Teachers are always the scapegoat: Why didn't the school do anything? Why didn't the teachers know bullying or whatever was going on? I will say this. We DO know it's going on. Can someone please tell me what to do about it? I work in a district that has NO emotionally disturbed classrooms. There are NO alternative schools until the students reach 5th grade. What would you like us to do with "these children?" throw them out? We have a limited amount of resources and nothing can be done without parental consent. Please, tell me what to do with the child who's mother refused to have "him tested?" Or the parent who will not accept any help in any form? Or the children who needs us to intervene but their parent is too busy cursing us out for saying their child may have an issue? I personally have had to restrain a child who was on top of another 2nd grader punching him in the face repeatedly.His fists were coming down like hammers and the child on the ground was unconscious.  I sat on the floor with the assailant while the other child was literally picked up off the floor with teeth falling out of his mouth.  The student I had was squirming and cursing and swinging and out of control.  I was speaking calmly in his ear and when he did finally calm down he started to cry on me as if he were a toddler.  I'm sure this child had bruises on him. I'm sure this child remembers that day.  And I'm sure that the other student's mother is grateful that I stopped the abuse on HER son.  Everyone needs to think before reacting to stories.  Find out the whole story before jumping on either side. Children need to learn to be nice to each other.  And more support is needed on all sides. And Dr. Phil, I adore you, however was upset when you said "What could a 2nd grader do" in order for a teacher to have to clear the room?  Please, visit an inner city K-4 school. Stay a week. Then I will see if you have your answer.
Replied By: andrewlee85 on Apr 25, 2010, 5:16PM
First, I just found out about all of this when my mother (who lives in the Midwest) told me about Dr.Phil speaking about this subject. She encouraged me to seek this out more. I grew up as a child who had behavioral, emotional and learning disabilities. I believe from 2nd or 3rd grade on I had to attend special schools that were for kids who were labeled "BD", which I am not sure the current name. However, I went to these schools for children and teenagers who could not attend public schools. We moved around a lot when I was a child, and when we would move back to a city, I would go back to that same school.

My experience honestly was not good at all. Being a child who had behavioral, emotional and learning disabilities, especially in the 90's, not many people understood me, or knew how to understand me. So when they placed me in these schools, it was supposed to be a place where the educators could understand me and work with me to help me. I experienced not much help. While I will admit I did have a few good teachers along the way.

I was abused in these schools. There were times when teachers would restrain me, and their reasoning was I was out of control. As an adult I look back, and look at these times, and would say that could partially be true. However, in the fashions they restrained me, I believe was not only unethical but abusive. I would come home with bruises and marks all over me, my mother would call the school and speak with the officials, and nothing would be done. This would go on and on. There was a time I recall that the school had their own buses, and a bus driver did nothing while an older teenager (I believe he was 16 or 17) and I was maybe 7 or 8. He beat me up on the bus, slammed my head and face into the window, I lost a tooth, my face was covered in blood, and the bus driver drive on and acted like nothing was going on. She let me off the bus, as I could barely walk, and my mother found me at the end of the driveway. She called the school and they said they would talk to the bus driver, nothing ever happened. My mother did write an article and sent it to the local news paper, where they published it and put it in my file.

There were many other times I remember as a child when they would lock me in a room, that was very small. Sometime only for an hour or so, other times it would be for the whole day. The rooms had nothing in them, usually made out of cement and or bricks. As a child with these problems, and some physical conditions (I would pass out when i got very hot and overheated), and these rooms usually did not have air conditioning or good vents (if any at all). It was my punishment ... for talking out of turn, telling a teacher I didnt want to do the work and refuse to, etc. And while at times I admit I deserved to be punished, I do not think how they punished me was ethical. There are other times I do not even remember, that my mother has shared with me. I could go on and on, but will leave it at this.

I have spent the last seven or eight years in Christian Ministry, working for churches and bible schools. Recently I have left this field to go to a Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona. There I will be attending classes on campus, and working towards a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. My goal is to get this degree (and maybe a masters degree) and teach children and teenagers in the Special Education Field.

I want to show them there is a hope and a future for them. Very few people believed in me as a child, teenager and even an adult. I want these kids to know someone cares about them and that I can make a difference in their life, and show them the system is not all corrupt and messed up.

Through my bad experiences and good experiences. I believe that the education system in general needs to make a huge change, and we need good special educators. People who do it because they want to help these kids!

I love this quote "Have you ever wondered why its so hard for you to believe in you? When someone believes in you, you win. When you believe in you, everybody wins". - Frontline Worship (A Champions Right - song)

I look forward to graduating from Grand Canyon University in 2014, and look forward to being able to make a difference in these kids life's and in the educational system.

Thanks for your time!
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