WHEN DOES RESTRAINING AND SECLUDING KIDS TURNS ABUSIVE AND DANGEROUS
On Wednesday, December 9, Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) plan to introduce a bill that prevents the misuse of restraint and seclusion on school kids. (Miller is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. McMorris Rodgers is a member of the Committee.)
One would imagine that such a bill as this one would not be necessary in this day and age. But one would be wrong.
It seems that, unlike with hospitals, and like facilities that receive federal funding, there are currently no federal policies that provide guidelines as to how restraint and seclusion can be used in schools, and the state laws are ridiculously uneven.
As a consequence, there have been reports of horrific cases of adults sitting on kids who are face down until they have stopped breathing, adults placing mentally disabled kids in closets for extended periods of time, in certain cases with fatal results, and on and on.
(The video above shows the Congressional testimony of a mother named Toni Price about once such incident. Price’s account is dignified, clear and heartbreaking.)
A look at the report on the matter from the US General Accounting Office is quite sobering.
Anyway, this is a bipartisan bill. Take a look.
The video above is of one mother’s testimony at a Congressional hearing on the issue this past spring.
ROBBER APOLOGIZES TO VICTIM
Evidently on Sunday night, a gun-wielding robber who jacked $70 from a Christmas tree salesman apologized to his victim saying, “Times are tough,” according to the LA Times.
I know several young able bodied men who are about to apply for General Relief because, despite daily searches for any kind of work they can find nothing, and they need some way to put food in the house but do not want to turn to the same desperate strategy as the gunman.
I got a call from one of them last night. He does not want a government hand out, he said. “But what can I do?” he asked me. I had no answer.
CAN A CAMPUS CHRISTIAN GROUP BAN GAYS AS VOTING MEMBERS?
On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to take a case which pits issues of religious freedom against a college’s policy of nondiscrimination. Moreover, the case has views of two circuit courts at odds with each other, one of them California’s beloved and sometimes notorious 9th Circuit.
The Christian Science Monitor has a very thorough write up. Here’s a clip:
The Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco was stripped of its registered student organization status at the college because it refused to allow gay and lesbian students to become voting members or officers of the group.
Under the Hastings nondiscrimination policy, student organizations must allow fellow students to join and potentially seek leadership positions in any organization without regard to their status or beliefs….
Starting in the 2004-2005 academic year, the CLS required prospective members to sign a statement of Christian faith. The statement includes a pledge that the undersigned student trusts in “Jesus Christ as my savior.”
Prospective members must express belief in several religious tenets, including “one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The statement includes a pledge of belief in the virgin birth, eternal life, Jesus’ resurrection, a divinely created heaven and earth, and that the Bible is the inspired word of God.
In addition, the national Christian Legal Society developed a policy position stating its view of biblical principles of sexual morality. The position, adopted by the Hastings chapter, said that “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle” was inconsistent with the group’s statement of faith and would disqualify an individual from membership.
Great case! Morally complex and legally ambiguous. Go Supremes!
JUSTICE BREYER: “GET ME THE REWRITE GUY!”
And Speaking of the Supreme Court…based on another case that went before the court on Monday, it looks quite possible that the nation’s Miranda warning may get rewritten. The case—Florida v. Powell—concerns one Kevin Dwayne Powell who did not understand, even after the warning was given, that he could have an attorney with him during questioning—as that fact is not really spelled out.
(Although if Mr. Powell had watched a little more episodic television, surely he would have known his rights a bit better.)
As the AP explains the rest.
STILL MISSING DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
This isn’t really a social justice issue at all, it’s a literary issue. But if you care about such things, the new posthumous piece of fiction by David Foster Wallace in the upcoming issue of the New Yorker, is a reminder why so many of us are, more than a year later, so devastated that Wallace could seem to find no way out of his personal psychic pain other than to silence it in the most permanent of manners.
Still and all, no matter how bittersweet, another encounter with DFW’s huge and humane talent is utterly thrilling.
The New Yorker published short story is an excerpt from The Pale King, the unfinished novel he was working on before he committed suicide in September 2008.