You may have seen the very disturbing recent story of the shackling of a 8 year old boy by a school resource officer in Covington, Kentucky. The story as told by CNN can be found here...the story on NBC Nightly News can be found here. We want to make sure that this story doesn't die off quietly, as they often do...and we need your help to urge Alvin Garrison, School Superintendent in Covington, to turn this tragic event into a learning opportunity. Click here to send an email to Mr. Garrison so that he, his teachers, and his school resource officers can learn better, more humane, and effective ways of working with behaviorally challenging youth. Together we KAAN make a difference!
Unshackle behaviorally challenging students
Dear Superintendent Garrison,
I am writing as a follow up to the troubling news story regarding the 8-year old boy being handcuffed by a school resource officer (SRO) in your district. I am truly sorry that this young student was treated in this manner. I am also sorry that the school resource officer and your district have essentially been demonized by the new media. I'm assuming the SRO was (probably) just doing what he was trained to do, and unaware of more compassionate and effective ways to handle behaviorally challenging children.
Mechanical restraint (such as handcuffing), physical restraint, and locked door seclusion are used over 267,000 times a year in American public schools., almost always as an act of desperation in reaction to highly predictable behaviors and problems. In almost all instances, these procedures are unnecessary...especially if schools are familiar with alternative interventions that are non-punitive, non-adversarial, proactive, collaborative, skill-building, and relationship-enhancing. One such intervention is Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Thus, I urge you and your staff to familiarize to check out the vast array of free resources on the website of the non-profit Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance.org). There you'll find streaming video and audio programming that will help you and your staff ensure that episodes of the type that occurred in one of your schools are a thing of the past and that the behaviorally challenging students in your school system are treated in a compassionate and effective manner.
I sincerely hope you will take the time review these resources. Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.