Many of the women around me are sobbing now, as a child tells her story. "My father beat me" she begins. Well, she is not a child now actually, but she is a child to me. She is a poised, attractive young woman named Jennifer Collins who is a survivor of child abuse and of a Child and Family Court System that betrayed her and her brother, just as it betrays children across this country every day when it orders children to live full time with an abusive parent.
If you want to find out more about the conference, visit the the oifficial site of the Battered Mothers Custody Conference. Here is a little about the conference from their website:
The Conference includes presentations, round-table discussions, and question & answer sessions with nationally distinguished professionals whose work is focused on resolving the complex issues facing battered women as they strive to protect themselves and their children in and out of court during custody and visitation disputes. It is open to lay persons and of special interest toadvocates, social workers, psychologists, attorneys, judges, legal personnel, and others involved in the issue of battered women's and abused children's legal and civil rights being routinely violated by family courts, DSS, and other government systems.
Read Barry's article on the ePluribus Media Journal and come back here to discuss.
Yesterday, on CNN, I caught this video . The incident happened in Oakridge, Oregon. Apparently, a teacher used duct tape to tape a 9-year-old boy to his chair. The news story does not tell the teacher's side of the story. The mother, the child and the superintendent are interviewed. The teacher is on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation. The Seattle Times reports the incident here and KMTR here:
Nine-year-old Austin Faile admits he was bored, and says the teacher repeatedly told him to sit down.
[Becky]Faile says she immediately called an attorney, and the school.
The story resonates with me on a personal level, as I had a similar experience with my son when he was in kindergarten. His teacher not only taped him to his chair, she taped his mouth shut too -- on more than one occasion. Was I horrified or outraged? No. Why? Because I lived with my son and could fully understand that when a teacher has 20+ kids in a class, she doesn't have time to deal with one that is creating havoc.
As a concerned parent, I knew it was my responsibility to discover why my son was exhibiting behavior problems and by the time he was in first grade we had discovered he had dyslexia and a severe muscular coordination problem in his eyes. Once we started dealing with his physical impairments his behavior improved immensely. The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15%-20% of the population are afflicted with dyslexia.
I don't know that 9-year-old Austin from the news clip has a learning disability, but I do think that it is the parents responsibility to discover why their son is disruptive.
Should the teacher lose her job? Is taping a child to a chair child abuse?