Practice Areas

Gaps in teacher training affect special education students

We have written multiple blog posts regarding the California Statewide Task Force on Special Education’s report entitled “One System: Reforming Education to Serve all Students.” This report recommends significant reform of the special education system in The Golden State. One of the reforms that the report recommends involves teacher training.

It is vitally important that teachers who interact with students with special educational needs are properly trained. Gaps and inconsistencies in teacher training can leave students with special educational needs vulnerable to approaches which may harm them physically, emotionally and/or academically.

Certainly, most teachers aim to do their best for their students. However, gaps and inconsistencies in teacher training can leave teachers wondering what their “best” should look like in certain compromising situations.

For example, say that a student with behavioral challenges is attending class in a mainstream setting. Although this student generally behaves with respect and consideration, he or she becomes involved in a confrontation that threatens to become violent. A teacher who is not properly trained may find himself or herself wrestling this student to the floor, secluding the student in shame or pinning the student against the wall in front of his or her peers.

If your student has special educational needs and you are concerned that a gap or inconsistency in school policy or teacher training may be leaving your child dangerously vulnerable, please consider speaking with a lawyer experienced in educational law about your options. Also please understand that your student is generally protected under the law from both intentional and unintentional mistreatment.

Source: EdSource, “Inconsistent training leaves special education staff struggling,” Jane Meredith Adams and John C. Osborn, April 20, 2015

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