Entries in Public Schools (2)


Mississippi Agrees to Stop Handcuffing Students to Poles

Medioimages/Photodisc/ThinkStock(JACKSON, Miss.) -- Students will no longer be handcuffed to poles in a Jackson, Mississippi public school.

The Capital City Alternative School, Mississippi’s second largest school district, reached the agreement with the Southern Poverty Law Center in U.S. District Court on Friday. They agreed to immediately stop the practice of handcuffing their students to poles and other objects, and must immediately place new methods of discipline in dealing with non-criminal behaviors.

According to the settlement, no student under the age of 13 can be handcuffed. Students over the age of 13 may be handcuffed only for crimes, but must not be handcuffed to stationary objects.

Jody Owens, director of the Mississippi office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, says the way the school dealt with discipline in the school was tantamount to child abuse, “We have some students who have gone on record to say it’s happened to them three or four days in a row. We know there are some students who actually had to eat their lunch with one hand handcuffed to a railing.”

Owens told ABC News that she is happy with the outcome, “We're excited to have a comprehensive settlement that changes not only the practice of handcuffing kids to railings but in addition the settlement focuses on changing the overall climate of this school from one that's jail like to one that focuses on education.”

In June 2011, the lawsuit against the Mississippi school distrcit was filed by Jeanette Murray whose son suffers from ADHD. Murray said in her lawsuit that students were routinely handcuffed for dress code violations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NY Lawmaker Says Parents Should Be Required to Give Kids Drug Tests

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- One Long Island, New York lawmaker thinks it's a parent's responsibility to determine whether or not if their child is taking illegal drugs.

In fact, Republican Assemblyman Joseph Saladino says if a parent isn't interested enough to find out, their teenager shouldn't be allowed to attend high school.

To that end, Saladino has introduced a measure that would make it mandatory for parents to administer annual drug tests to their high school-aged youngsters.

Saladino says, "Ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades -- the parent has to sign a form that is handed into the school district that states they have conducted a drug test on their child, and that they have seen the result."

The outcome would remain private, meaning it would be up to parents to decide how to deal with a child if the results are positive for drugs.

If no signed form is turned in, Saladino says schools can keep a child from attending class.
Saladino was prompted to craft the bill following a rash of drug overdoses of teens on Long Island. Vic Ciappa, who lost his daughter to heroin, says he fully supports the plan.

Others, including civil libertarians and some parents, believe requiring parents to perform drug tests on their kids is a clear invasion of privacy -- especially if not doing so potentially hinders a student's education.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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