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Spotlight on California private schools with special ed students

California special education students have a lawful right to attend private schools that receive funding from public sources, in the event that a locally placed public school lacks the requisite resources to provide meaningful educational opportunities to them.

And they have this concomitant and very important right while attending those schools, as well: freedom from being beaten, shackled, restrained or otherwise mistreated while on the premises.

Is that an issue at such schools?

Apparently, it is, at least at some of them. Reports are now circulating that an official investigation into private-school discipline of some special education students has been launched by the California Attorney General's Office, spearheaded by state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

And, while some readers might find this reasonably hard to believe, the probe is reportedly the first investigation of its kind ever conducted by a state or federal prosecutor.

Private schools need to be focused upon, say some advocates for special ed students.

"We need a bright line shined on these schools," says one critic of so-called "physical behavior management approaches."

And that is for this reason, among other things: private schools are sometimes viewed as last-option choices for some students who haven't been able for various reasons to assimilate into public schools. Given that, some parents might reasonably hesitate to make a disciplinary matter involving their child public, out of fear that it could lead to expulsion and an exhaustion of educational options.

That is of course an intolerable state of affairs for any parent and child, and underscores one reason why special ed advocates are welcoming news regarding the official state probe.

We will keep readers updated on any material developments that are reported.

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