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Kids with special needs are not receiving appropriate services


Vital services provided by contractors are repeatedly denied by Broward County Public Schools. BCBAs, who are trained in behavior modification and certified in crisis management, have been repeatedly denied access to their clients in classrooms or allotted insufficient time such as 1 hour per day to address issues as severe as physical aggression and self injury. The typical treatment recommendations for addressing severe behaviors such as these is about 30 hours per week. See the recent article below about the teacher that was hospitalized after a 5 year old attacked her. Incidents like this are preventable.

There is a lack of respect for the parents and lack of transparency in general

The schools are not transparent with parents. I’ve been told of numerous incidents where kids have been physically attacked and bullied and this has gone completely unreported to parents. Further, some of the instructional materials that are presented to these kids have questionable content; content that many parents would find inappropriate for their children. In fact, parent organizations have sued BCPS in the past for their lack of transparency like a failure to disclose which books were in their libraries. Parents have an absolute right to know what materials their child is exposed to.  Perhaps its their aversion to transparency that leaves them weary of outside service providers. 



There is little support for our teachers

-Our teachers have insufficient training in behavior management and modification strategies. When dealing with disruptive or aggressive kids some teachers may unintentionally aggravate the situation, through no fault of their own, simply because they have not been trained in child development. Broward County Public Schools spend millions upon millions of dollars per year, yet are catastrophically underspending in the area which would most benefit the children, training our teachers. Placing 30 kids, each with different academic needs, into one classroom with one teacher is difficult enough, yet on top of these challenges we add the varying degrees of psychological and emotional problems which these students face. This inevitably creates a recipe for disaster resulting in disruptive behavior which all too often escalates to physical violence. In fact, some of our schools report as many as 100 SESIR incidents occurring in about a 4 month span. This means that in just one school there can be as many as 5 or 6 incidents per week that jeopardize the safety of the students and the learning environment.

*SESIR= School Environmental Safety Incident Reporting*



The school environment is unhealthy and not conducive to learning

 One of the biggest complaints teachers and administrative staff have is that the kids are inattentive and disruptive.  The rates of ADHD continue to rise, with new children being diagnosed daily, yet given everything we know now about ADHD, the school environment still remains unsupportive to those with special needs. To be honest, its unsupportive to those with typical needs as well. In addition to simple environmental modifications, I would like to see the expansion of physical education in our schools, to help not only those students with ADHD but also to face the current epidemic of childhood obesity.  Children spend the majority of their day in school and yet we have virtually eliminated physical activity from the school day and are feeding “food” loaded with empty calories, high fat, high sugar and preservatives with virtually no nutritional value. These kids are being pumped full of sugar, denied a physical outlet for their energy, and then commanded to sit quietly at their desks.

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