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It's stories like these that compel special education scrutiny

No reasonable person doubts that legions of individuals employed in the realm of special education -- across its entire spectrum, in every occupation -- are morally outstanding people who make best efforts at all times to treat disabled children with love and dignity and promote their learning.

That is patently understandable, given that many people working in the field of special education purposefully sought to do so and were willing to clear every learning and credential-related hoop required to do so. High numbers of individuals working with special-needs children view their efforts in terms of a professional calling rather than as a mere job.

Sadly, though (and inevitably so), not all adults who interact with children in special education programs can be perceived in such a salutary way. Some adults -- principals, teachers, aides, coaches and others -- act in ways that are morally indefensible and sometimes even flatly unlawful.

Recent news emanating from a northern California suburb in the Bay Area underscores that reality and renders it immediately apparent why legal intervention is sometimes an imperative in a special education setting.

As noted in a recent media story, a police report (supplemented with disturbing video footage) indicates that a special-needs child was struck "hard in the face" by a teacher's aide who, along with another worker, was allegedly trying to control the child. Police officials arrested the worker, deeming the physical response an act of felony child abuse.

Both aides were immediately suspended and subsequently fired by the school.

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