Tuesday, 16 Sep, 2008 Offbeat

Teachers to Be Allowed to Use Force against Students


Florida State is considering the rule that lets teachers use "reasonable force" against children in a classroom to provide safe and organized environment in school.

Under the existing ruling, educators were allowed to restrain children with disabilities who may pose a hazard to other students or themselves. Now, a new initiative of Florida's State Board of Education suggests that this ruling should be applied to all students. The regulation also says that a teacher has a right not to tell the parents about using force on their child.

Many parents are already concerned that their children would be exposed to physical abuse. Though the rule says that "reasonable force" means only minimal physical restrain to control the situation in the classroom, the parents fear that educators may use this method to let off anger and frustration.

First grade teacher Landis Braddock at Perkins Elementary in St. Petersburg explains that using minimal force without hurting the child can help to neutralize the potentially violent behavior and gives the children a "feeling of being under control". Although, being parent herself, she is also worried that teachers may use too much force. Other parents like Jamie Eagan say that the rule should be more specified, "It needs to be paired down, clarified instead of leaving so many open ended terms or provisions for how to defuse the situation, it's without specifics."

State Board of Education officials reported that they are analyzing public opinion to the proposed initiative.

Source: Tampa Bay's 10 News

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