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U.S. schools functioning as prisons: Leg shackles and handcuffs for students

Public schools

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(NaturalNews) Many Americans would no doubt be stunned (as I was) to learn the extent of the prison-style treatment of their children in the nation's public schools. It's an under-reported issue, and one that is much more serious and widespread than most people would dare to imagine.

In a scathing article recently posted on LewRockwell.com, John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute casts light on a subject which needs much more exposure and attention -- not only on the part of authorities, but also by parents and citizens who can make a difference by simply speaking out against these frightening injustices being carried out on a daily basis in thousands of schools across the country.

Our children are being subjected to forms of authoritarian abuse and punishment which rival the type of treatment one would expect to receive in a maximum security prison.

As Whitehead relates:

On any given day when school is in session, kids who "act up" in class are pinned facedown on the floor, locked in dark closets, tied up with straps, bungee cords and duct tape, handcuffed, leg shackled, tasered or otherwise restrained, immobilized or placed in solitary confinement in order to bring them under "control."

In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums. Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others.

Among the shocking statistics Whitehead has revealed are the facts that each day in American schools around 1,500 children are "tied up or locked down" by school officials, while more than 500 are put in solitary confinement, which can include anything from being locked inside a padded cell to being placed in a duffel bag.

And, as Whitehead points out, most of these cases go unreported. They are part of a standard operating procedure in schools that, for the most part, goes unquestioned -- even despite the fact that, if parents inflicted the same types of punishment on their own kids, they would likely face criminal charges.

But these tactics are perfectly legal, and in recent years have become increasingly widespread, it seems. School officials and "safety agents" are quick claim that these methods are used only when the children pose a danger to themselves and others, but as Whitehead notes, this is rarely the case.

For instance, how can anyone possibly justify handcuffing and shackling a four-year-old preschooler? That's exactly what happened in a Virginia school in October 2014 after the child was "reportedly throwing blocks and climbing on top of the furniture." The preschooler, after being restrained in such an extreme fashion, was then transported to the local sheriff's office.

Sadly, that case is far from being an isolated incident. Whitehead lists many similar situations in which very young children have been subjected to brutal restraints and punishment that would seem extreme by almost anyone's standards.

And the issue is not just one of the trauma inflicted on these children. It appears, as Whitehead observes, that these practices are evidence of an indoctrination of children into what can only be described as a fascist state:

Clearly, the pathology that characterizes the American police state has passed down to the schools. Now in addition to the government and its agents viewing the citizenry as suspects to be probed, poked, pinched, tasered, searched, seized, stripped and generally manhandled, all with the general blessing of the court, our children in the public schools are also fair game.

Whitehead urges parents to be "vocal, visible and organized" in speaking out against these practices in our schools.

There are successful models for reform. One of these is a policy called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), which has been proven to be very successful in greatly reducing the need for physical restraints and other extreme disciplinary measures used against children in our schools.

PBIS works through rewarding children for positive behavior rather than punishing them for negative actions.

It's time to take a closer look at how our kids are being treated in the nation's schools. Do we really want to produce generations of adults who have been indoctrinated into a fear of speaking up and questioning authority, especially when our society is becoming seemingly more totalitarian by the day?

I rather think not.



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