2009 Shows

(Original Air Date: 12/05/08) When you send your children to school, you expect them to be taught in a nurturing environment. But what should you do if you learn your child has experienced extreme discipline by those entrusted to teach him or her? Eva and Doug's autistic daughter, Isabel, was 8 years old when her teachers claimed her behavior became too difficult to handle, so they sent her to the time-out room. Cameras captured Isabel's time spent in isolation, which her parents say lasted for over three hours. Her parents say they had worked with the teachers regarding disciplining Isabel and were panicked and horrified when they saw the footage. Next, Martha says her 12-year-old daughter was in a classroom when $42 went missing. In an effort to find the money, a group of girls were strip-searched. You won't believe who reportedly ordered the investigation. Martha says her daughter is devastated and will never be the same. Then, when 5-year-old Gabriel constantly complained that his teacher was mean and yelled at him, his mom, Tabitha, sent him to school with a tape recorder in his pocket. Hear the audio recordings and find out the shocking information Tabitha discovered. Psychologist Ken Merrell, special education teacher Kathy Riley and civil litigation attorney Areva Martin weigh in on these cases. And, after years of being relentlessly bullied by fellow students, Jeremiah brought the torment to a tragic end. His father, Jeff, joins Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw to speak for the first time on television. Plus, if you're a teen and want to talk about what's happening at your school, join the Teen Talk message boards.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: wrongrestraint on Jul 12, 2011, 5:51PM
My son is 7 years old and has an emtional disturbance, ADHD and possible Aspergers.
Replied By: martijna on Dec 3, 2009, 8:29AM

I'm from Holland en just watched this show today. I think Project 51 is a really good initiatif, in Holland is a simmilair thing. On 'primairy school' i think (up to age of 12) there was much information available for a Free 'childrens phone'. It helped a lot to me and others!
Hope it will go well with Project 51!!!
Replied By: mudskipr on Jul 11, 2009, 7:45PM
Thank You loranlee and ezzy (I think I've got that right...the new text entry took me away from the page).  It seems that often times we just need to point a finger because it feels good.  I also believe, in stacynfred's defense, that sometimes that abuse does come from the school itself, but I can't believe it happens as often as one might think.  That is unfortunate for your son to have to put up with that.  Here are  a couple of questions I'd like to pose that address the topic of  discipline, however not this exact topic.  I hope SOMEone can enlighten me. 

First, at what point might you step in and handle a possible abuse issue between your child and his or her teachers without seeming combative...to actually handle a potential situation with class?  How do you KNOW that it is happening (because sometimes our little darlings will manipulate the truth to get somebody's goat)?  And how do you think Isabelle's family could have handled their situation without publicizing and making a mess of things on Dr. Phil?

Second stream of questions... :)  This might open up a can of worms, but it continues to baffle me.  During the "self-esteem" kick when the government stepped into the way parents parent, it seems we parents have forgotten how to have authoratative guts.  Maybe some of us are afraid of the outcome of our parenting, but honestly, some of us have lost our spines.  I remember when I was pregnant, there were a gazillion books on how to parent and each one of those psychiatrists proclaimed that theirs was the "only" way to raise a healthy child.  Not just that, but if we spanked, yelled at, or showed our own kids a little strong-arm structured discipline, then someone else called CPS.  Better not spank our naughty kids at the grocery store so we'll let them run rampant until we're done.  Resultingly (tryyying to make this short), many many parents have left parenting up to the school districts because they're the professionals.  Are parents still afraid to parent??? Are we still in this paradox of parenting and how to do it?  Is THIS where all the naughtiness is coming from?  And finally...how do we change this waste of time??
Replied By: ezzy666 on Jul 10, 2009, 8:58PM - In reply to maircha
I'm sure you also wondered what precipitated Isabel being put into the quiet room.  I've worked in classrooms with quiet rooms.  The only reason a child was ever put into a quiet room was when she attempted to hurt others or herself.  The staff also had a right to put a child in the quiet room if they destroyed school property, but only did it if the destroyed property could hurt another student. (for example throwing a piece of furniture at another person)
I've also been in many classrooms and have worked with children who are psychotic and placed into regular classrooms or into classroom with children who have behavioral disorders.
Many times a child was safer in the quiet room then throwing a temper tantrum amid other children.
Replied By: ezzy666 on Jul 10, 2009, 8:32PM - In reply to bambe09
This is my fifth year teaching and I am making $34,000 a year.  First year teachers make about $27,000 a year, less if they are hired after the first day of school.  There were many times I couldn't afford to buy groceries my first year of teaching.  I work at a year round school.  I pay for my insurance and pay into my retirement fund.  In the state I work in we have a PERs system, so I won't get any Social Security when I retire, something I pay into from my part time job.  I easily spend $100-$400 a month to supplement the curriculum in my classroom.  I must also provide a prize box as part of my behavior plan in my regular education classroom.  A large number of my students have been foreclosed on.  I re-purchase books and flashcards for them so that there is no excuse for why they can't do their homework.  I also have a supply of food for the students who owe too much money to the cafeteria for lunch. 
Did I go into teaching to become wealthy?  No.  But I did not expect to be in constant debt by repaying my students loans, and all of the other surprise expenses that came along with teaching.  Yes, I am sure that there are overpaid teachers in the system, but most teachers quit within five years and never make it to a $50,000 salary.
Replied By: ezzy666 on Jul 10, 2009, 7:58PM - In reply to mudskipr
When I saw the video of the little girl in the quiet room, I also felt she was being manipulative.  I don't know the child and maybe she was being sincere when she asked for help or the bathroom.  But I've come across  many children who know that they can cause a lot of damage in the bathroom or on the way to the restroom. 

There are so many times when a school calls the parents and the parents respond by saying "They are supposed to be getting x minutes of instruction per their IEP.  It is your problem to figure out how to get my child to comply with your directions.  If I must come get my child then I expect supplementary home services to make up for lost time."
Replied By: stacynfred on Jul 10, 2009, 3:46PM
I am a mother of two.  My son has a speech problem which was corrected with surgery.  But before the surgery he was mentally abused by two teachers that would call him stupid, dumb, and the principle would tell him that he would never amount to nothing because of his speech.  He was shy and had very little friends because of this problem.  It would just break my heart when he would come home on certain days of the week because he had speech therapy and the the therapist was abusing him.  It would make out lives like living in hell on those days.  The school district got upset when they had to hire a speech therapist to work just with him.  I would go to the appropriate people and nothing would get done about it.   I think the teachers who do this to kids should not be aloud to teach anymore.  It just breaks my heart when I hear something like this going on in the schools.  We send our children to school to get an education and to be safe not to be abused by our educators. 
Replied By: loranlee on Jul 8, 2009, 9:41PM - In reply to yknot1
Replied By: mudskipr on Jul 6, 2009, 8:49PM - In reply to blaineg
I am a school specialist teacher who sees 525 children from kindergarten through grade 6 in a week and I am a single parent as well.  After watching the Dr. Phil episode in which the young girl was held in isolation for 3 hours for her behaviors, I wondered exactly where were the parents during this violent episode.  Were they notified?  As a teacher, safety of the 29 students in my classroom is paramount; if a student in my classroom  demonstrated defiant/violent behavior such as what I saw in the video (after making attempts to de-escalate), autistic or not, my responsibility is to remove that person from my classroom.  If after taking school disciplinary measures the student continues to behave in this manner and the parents/family members cannot be notified to come pick their child up from school, the school should have the right to confine that student until the behavior subsides without question.  Yes, she was calling out for help, yes she was kicking and screaming and clearly upset, however each time an adult entered the room to assist, she continued the defiant behavior and attempted to manipulate the situation.  She should not come out until she can demonstrate cooperative, safe behavior that will not re-escalate.

As a parent myself, I would not have a problem with this form of discipline for my child and in turn would expect to be notified if it escalated to this level.  Also as a parent, I would NOT hesitate to leave work to pick him up from school to pursue my number one duty...BE A PARENT TO MY CHILD and support with discipline.

It was funny that I should see this episode when I did.  I'm in the middle of reading a book called "Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Childrearing," by Robert Evans.  I'd like to recommend it, but I haven't finished it yet. It DOES raise awareness with the way our kids are being raised as far as family values....that "parents are abdicating their responsibilities" as parents and consequently how teachers are spending more time disciplining than instructing.  In two working parent households, the claims I've heard are that parents just don't have time for their own children.  They end up in child care before school starts and after school ends in so many cases.  Additionally, parents have left much of the responsibility for raising their children up to the school yet make threats to sue the school districts for the way their children are treated.  I think that everyone involved (parents, kids, schools) feels overwhelmed with responsibilities that nobody has the time or finances for, and kids have NO idea how to behave in this world or what to value.  We forget who is number one...the kids.  What is best for the kids?  Nurturing and structure especially on the part of the parents.  Nobody else can replace that and suing others involved is NOT going to fix the problems at hand.  What does that teach the kids in the end?  That their crummy behavior is justified.  And yes, I am speaking to myself as a parent too.
Replied By: dadofseven on Jul 6, 2009, 12:19AM - In reply to saramartin4
As my name reads I'm a dad of seven, though all grown I've experienced a number of things over the years in different states we have lived in accorss the U.S. and Hawaii.  What many don't know is that I am an adult with Asperger's Syndrome myself.  I function very well day to day though do have problems in large groups of people, when I'm working on something, trying to relax and sleep along with a few otther things.  Over the years I have learned to recgonize and came to deal with it after learing what to look for.

Growing up being bullied, picked on, and called names not only by other kids and peers but by many times adults and teachers too I know first hand what this young pre-teen and others go through.  When you mention that your son has ADHD I wonder if and to what level he has been tested for them to diagnose him as such?  Many times that seems to be the catch all term they want to classify a child as being then can come back later stating that he/she "just doesn't want to follow the rules and listen".  This young boy I have been told was first diagnosed as being ADHD.  The Dr., then placed him on different meds starting with the (again standby) Ridlin, and going on from there to Prozac, and later Medidate (or something along that line) before I ever came to know him.  From what I was  told none of the meds helped but rather some like the Ridlin even seemed to aggravate and cause other problems and issues with him.  Unfortunately many are only starting to see and recgonize Asperger's Syndrome as the problem in some children.  If you read the facts an average 1 in 150 boys have came to be diagnosed as having some form of it.  "Some form", because very seldom do you have two boys exhibit the same signs and conditions since the spectrum is so large.  Some will have come things but not others making the actual diagnosis uneasy as to how to treat or work with the child.

Having it myself, seeing some of the same things and a few other signs in my children and then with other children I've been around and worked with I have more of a feeling and understanding.  Maybe it is kind of being more sensitive but seem to know at times and can tell what they are feeling and going through.  I am sure that for him to start kindergarten he has been tested and knows the basics to be able to go.  In most cases in kindergarten they give a little more lee-way when it comes to behavior then in the upper classes such as 3rd and up.  By then the children are expect to stay in their seats, be quiet, and follow directions all the time.

If your child has been diagnosed as ADHD, Autistic, ADD, or any other special condition then I would be sure that you take a statement to the school signed by the physican for them to not only have on file but to see if he would be better suited in a special class.  Believe me the school has to listen even if it means taking it to the school board or the media if they don't want to.  I fought for all my kids, I've even fought for this young guy here and if I ever have others in my life or marry again I would do the same all over.  I wish you the best of luck and remember one thing, Schools, school districts, and school boards don't like to have the media or lawyers and suits placed in front of them.  You do have a lot of power on your side.
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