Many Americans would no doubt be stunned (as I was) to learn the extent of the prison-style treatment of their children in the nation’s public schools. It’s an under-reported issue, and one that is much more serious and widespread than most people would dare to imagine. In a scathing article recently posted on LewRockwell.com, John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute casts light on a subject which needs much more exposure and attention — not only on the part of authorities, but also by parents and citizens who can make a difference by simply speaking out against these frightening injustices being carried out on a daily basis in thousands of schools across the country. Our children are being subjected to forms of authoritarian abuse and punishment which rival the type of treatment one would expect to receive in a maximum security prison.
As Whitehead relates: On any given day when school is in session, kids who “act up” in class are pinned facedown on the floor, locked in dark closets, tied up with straps, bungee cords and duct tape, handcuffed, leg shackled, tasered or otherwise restrained, immobilized or placed in solitary confinement in order to bring them under “control.” In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums. Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others.
Among the shocking statistics Whitehead has revealed are the facts that each day in American schools around 1,500 children are “tied up or locked down” by school officials, while more than 500 are put in solitary confinement, which can include anything from being locked inside a padded cell to being placed in a duffel bag. And, as Whitehead points out, most of these cases go unreported. They are part of a standard operating procedure in schools that, for the most part, goes unquestioned — even despite the fact that, if parents inflicted the same types of punishment on their own kids, they would likely face criminal charges. More