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Letter To The Editor: “Behavior classrooms are overcrowded and are breaking the law”

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I am contacting you hoping you will follow up on this piece of information that I have about the Special Education Department in New Bedford Public School System.

As you may or may not know the Pulaski School has a program that helps kids with behavior problems. Recently they were investigated by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) for a 51a that had been filed in regards to use of poor techniques when working with these elementary students.

I wanted to bring to your attention that there is also a continuation of that program at the middle schools. The middle school behavior program class size has been over capacity since the start of the school year. This may seem like a common problem but it is actually against the law because these students are in special education. The staff that work in the program have made many formal and informal attempts to remedy the problem but have been ignored.

The behavior classrooms are overcrowded and are breaking the law in regards to student and teacher ratio. The supervisor for special education and the executive director have not addressed or remedied the issue despite several complaints. In fact, they continue to make it worse by sending middle school behavior staff to the Pulaski school behavior classrooms in hopes of rehabilitating the Pulaski program.

Due to the aggressive nature of some of these students this decision making is not only dangerous to the school and its students but is also against the law (Massachusetts Educational Law 603 CMR 28.06(6d)).

I have purposely kept myself anonymous even though I no longer work for the district because I still fear future repercussions in my career.

While I know anonymous sources are often not considered legitimate, I urge you to look into this and you will find that a great injustice is occurring with our students who suffer from emotional problems.

About Joe Silvia

When Joe isn't writing, he's coaching people to punch each other in the face. He enjoys ancient cultures, dead and living languages, cooking, benching 999#s, and saving the elderly, babies and puppies from burning buildings. While he enjoys long walks on the beach, he will not be your alarm clock, because he's no ding-a-ling.

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One comment

  1. My child was part of this investigation. He was allegedly locked in a room with music blaring when he melted down. He was also restrained for extended periods of time included being pinned to the floor and having a staff member put thier knee in his back to force him to apologize. He is 3 and has ASD and SPD

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