I would like to start this post stating that there’s a growing trend but it’s much likely that this is a much longer lasting trend than most of us think it is… it’s just that we’re becoming increasingly aware of it. Thanks to better-recording devices and such, people are getting caught. And thank God for that.
What I’m talking about is when we trust other people to care for our children… to make them feel safe, secure and comfortable…. and those people betray that trust and become the bullies that we were hoping our children would be protected from.
Bullying and Autism
To anyone with autism or that has a child with autism, it’s never been a secret that autistics get bullied more than most other children. Recently, some researchers crunched some numbers and confirmed what we’ve always known.
The shocking part is when we discover that it’s not just the other children doing the bullying.
Grown-ups… adults… trained people that are being paid… paid with your tax dollars… adults that supposedly became the person they are today because they loved working with children…. adults… the ones that look you in the eye and tell you that they will take great care of your child…
They’re not adults… they’re monsters.
Under the bed or in the closet, not at school
Children are supposed to be afraid to look where they think monsters might be. They’re not supposed to be afraid to go to where they know a monster actually is.
You see, children don’t see other children bullies as monsters… they see them as meanies or bullies. They’re just kids. They’re just mean. And it hurts and it really sucks. No one likes to be victimized by their peers.
But it’s a whole other level of victimization when it comes from a person of authority… a grown up that is supposed to be keeping them safe. They’re not just mean, they’re not just a bully. They’re the real monsters.
Most kids move on from school and put the bullying behind them. It still hurts to remember but it’s behind them.
But it’s so very much harder to do that when it’s the teachers that did it. That kind of thing scars you for life. You never let that go.
The worst part is … these adults know that. They’re in that position, so they know. They took the courses, they’ve dealt with children long enough… they’re not unaware of the effect they’re having. They’re not oblivious to how smart kids really are, just how much they take in.
People that create bald-faced lies to parents, that verbally or physically assault a child… they are criminals.
That’s not even the worst part
What really gets me sick is how much the education system is quickly becoming just like the political or religious systems. When these things happen, neither the police nor the media, and certainly not the parents, can get any information out of the school. It becomes an “internal matter” and they just quietly go about their business, giving no information to anyone.
Later you find out that the person that abused the child was simply reassigned, or given leave with pay or… if they are fired.. they’re fired with a nice severance and likely rehired elsewhere to care (or not as the case may be) for other children.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself… there’s a reason that much of this goes unchecked in the first place.
See, children are very unlikely to ever say anything. I mean, think about it… you’re a little one at school, who believes completely that the grown-up that is in charge is actually allowed to do everything they do… and worse, if you do say anything… they could do much worse than they already have.
How do you speak up to that?
It gets even worse if your child has autism because then there’s next to zero chance that they will tell anyone.
See, in the mind of some people, that makes it “the perfect crime”… they can do and say anything they want because they’ll never get caught.
They also don’t much care what effect it will have, if any, on the child for the rest of their lives. Because they are likely not thinking about anyone but themselves.. they certainly aren’t thinking of the child’s future.
But they know. They know full well what effect it will have. They’re just not thinking about it.
This is what makes them a monster. This is what makes this truly despicable. This is what makes them less than human.
And they’ll do it again… where ever they get reassigned to or rehired with… because it’s an internal matter that the school will handle. Right?
Disgusting is what it is.
Now that you’ve read all of this, I’d like to show you the latest two cases in the news… which are what prompted this post…
First is Stuart Chaifetz’s video where he reveals what he had recorded one day when he was forced to put a recording device on his child. His child was acting quite contrary to his personality and he was getting no answers, so he did what he had to do to find out the truth.
Second is another story is taken from video cameras on board a school bus where aides were supposed to be helping a child put on his safety harness but instead, began smacking him on the head.
I am quite happy to report that on this latest story, the aides have been let go, without pay and will be on trial to answer for these crimes.
So what do we do?
Well, many parents refuse to take the risk and choose to home school their children… and I can’t blame them. If it did happen to their children, they’d likely never know, or at least not for a long time… too long. There really is no way to be sure beforehand. It could happen to anyone anywhere and finding out after the fact means the damage has already been done.
Still though, much like plane crashes… even though they do happen when you take into account how many planes are traveling at any given time… the crashes happen so rarely that airplane travel is still the safest way to travel.
The same can be said for child care, teachers and teachers aides… yes, this disgusting behavior is happening out there… and we’re finding out about it more and more… but it’s still rare.
Still though, even if it’s only happening with 1 in 5,000,000 teachers/aides/care providers…. is it worth that risk?
Is better screening the answer? Well, I don’t know since I’d wager that these people probably really were happy to work with children in the beginning. Years can change a person. So maybe they’d be the best of candidates one year… while not the best choice the next.
Better monitoring systems? That’s probably what I would suggest most but doing so is very costly and takes away from the money available to be doing the actual learning and caring for the children. Still, though, it does seem to be becoming more and more of a necessity.
Is homeschooling the answer? Well, homeschooling does have its pros and cons, but if you’re keeping your child home because of the risk of a bad teacher… where does it end? Keep them off the sidewalks for the risk of bad drives? Keep them out of planes for fear of crashes or terrorists? Keep them out of corner stores and banks for fear of robberies?
Sheltering is an option so long as it’s not taken too far, I guess.
I don’t know what the answer is.
All I do know is that by the law of averages, the more teachers/aides/caregivers there are… the more likely there is to be a bad egg in the bunch. And those laws of averages get heavily swayed when a lack of funding is involved in the equation.
The average is again greatly swayed when there are more and more children that need those teachers/aides/caregivers.
The numbers keep going up, the demand keeps going up, the quality…. well, there’s only so many great teachers out there.
Think of it this way… if you can have 20 teachers in the country, you’ll pick the 20 best.
But if you have to have 10,000,000 teachers…. then you’ll have to pick the 10,000,000 best. And the 9,999,999th best teacher is… well, not the best.
So what do we do? Population control is out of the question, not to mention a bit late if it ever was…
I just don’t know. How do we stop this from happening? How to we keep our children safe from the people that are supposed to be keeping our children safe?
The only thing I know for sure is that there needs to be more accountability. Like those aides on the bus facing trial and not getting paid right now… we need more of that.
No more sheltering or handling things internally or shuffling the deck…. people need to be held accountable. A criminal is a criminal whether they are a politician, religious leader or a part of the education system.
Enough of this.
No more “system” except the justice system.
It’s the only one that matters.