View Full Version : Problems at OKC Public Schools

04-09-2008, 09:15 AM
OK, my wife is a schoolteacher in one of the city's inner middle schools.

About a month ago they had a student stab and slash another student with a small knife. Not a very big knife, and didn't cause anything near life threatening injuries. Only 3-4 stitches I believe. And no, it isn't Capitol Hill, that is a high school. Anyways, you would think that the kid would be expelled, or sent to an alternative education school, right. WRONG! The kid is still in school! Better yet, the principal WANTS to expell the kid, or send them to alternative education, but the half wits at the central office will not permit it.

See the child is special ed, so the mother would have to sign for the child to go to alternative education, and the mother refuses to sign the document. The half wits special education supervisors, won't permit the child to be expelled because the kid is special ed.

It is no wonder that school administrators have so much trouble disciplining in their schools, the administrators above them have their hands tied. I can only see violence getting more and more frequent in schools until something is done about the current administration. The problem is not the schools, they want to provide a good and safe place for kids to learn. It is the people that work at 900 N Klein that are causing the problem, not to mention the huge salaries that some of these people draw. Some of them are absolutely ridiculious.

Sorry, I will step down from my soapbox now. I am just aggravated over the whole OKCPS school district.

04-09-2008, 09:32 AM
And what school is this? I think I would have heard of this since the CAPITOL Hill stabbing was pretty big in the media.

On average, middle schools are much worse than High Schools or Elementary. It seems that in middle school, fights and gang problems are much more elevated than in other school institutes. Surely this kid should get no special attention he/she should be seen as a threat to other kid's safety and should be expelled from the school.

And this should not be a reason to be angry with the WHOLE school district since there are some fine schools within the OKCPS district. I would blame OKCPS administrators as the problem not the district. Seeing some school's administration is far better than other school's administration which creates an uneven learning and discipline enviroment which I think should be constant throughout the school district. Surely the district has progressed by leaps and bounds, but the problem with the leaders are not so easily fixable since we can't even hold a District Superintendant. I agree with you that the people at the central offices need to be replaced or need to do something new for they do nothing to help our problemed schools.

sgt. pepper
04-09-2008, 10:03 AM
Do you think the new Superintedant will do something about things like this, or he/she is just a puppet for other administors? i agree, this student, a special ed or not, is a threat to other students. i would think the parents of the other children would voice concern about this.

04-09-2008, 10:14 AM
Since the kid is special ed, nobody can talk about it. I am not even supposed to be talking about it, that is why I won't reveal the school or the sex of the child.

The principal at the school is ready to quit over the whole ordeal. This principal is a wonderful person and my wife really likes them. The principal has gone above and beyond to help out kids both individually and as a whole. The district would be loosing a very valueable asset if they lost this principal.

sgt. pepper
04-09-2008, 10:30 AM
Jacob, i don't know the rules and regulations of special education. i know it takes special people to teach and work with these kids, i could not do it. Unfortunatly good people such as the principle and your good wife gets caught in the middle (i understand your wife may not be involved). With reports of students planning to kill thier teachers and all, i feel for your wife and her co-workers. i hope the principle does not quit, it sounds like our schools need people just like her.

04-09-2008, 10:44 AM
I agree that public schools in the metro are trying TOO hard to mainstream some of these kids to the detriment of the rest. At some point, there needs to be a cut-off for special ed/emotionally disturbed kids. These places are supposed to be safe environments in which to learn, not places to drop off the kids while we go to work.

04-10-2008, 10:02 AM
The whole mainstream, put special ed back in each school thin is horrible. They started this in Mid-Del about 10 years ago. The teachers hate it, the students don't care, but it doesn't help anyone. If you centralize the special ed program in a single facility, you can much better use your resources to handle the needs of the children. They you are better able to divide the special ed students into the different levels of care they need rather than having to hire unneccessary extra staff at each location.

Plus, these kids aren't usually put in a regular class with anyone else so the whole idea of mixing the students is lost. It doesnt do crap, but then everyone has to deal with the hassles.

My gripe here...I had a classroom across the hall from the special ed room in high school. The noise was ridiculously loud and distracting. The class was more babysitting than teaching and the regular students couldn't focus because of the noise from the room. So who benefits there? The kids running crazy in their special ed class that don't ever interact with the student population, or the regular students that can't learn because the special ed class is constantly making so much noise?

Let me clarify one point though. Physically handicapped students were not under the same umbrella. There were students that had physical handicaps that went to classes like everyone else. They were just as annoyed as everyone else with the special ed crap.

04-10-2008, 10:14 AM
I don't know...we are a full-inclusion school and it works just fine. And yeah, you probably all think since I teach at a college-prep school that we don't have kids with issues. Trust me, we do. Plenty of them. And you know what? A lot of them do very well.

As for the OP, I'm sorry this is happening to this school. I worked in another school before where there were major problems (a JH) and the principals just looked the other way most of the time. At least you have a principal that cares. Hopefully the issue will be resolved.

04-10-2008, 10:28 AM
The special services supervisors are so afraid of being sued that they go to the extreme. Something my wife mentioned about IDEA. A special ed kid can only be suspended for 10 days from school, no matter what he/she does.

There is also another example where a special ed boy molested a special ed girl. The boy was suspended, but is back in school now. I would have troubles going to school everyday and seeing the person that molested me in a bathroom walk down the hall like nothing happened, if I was this little girl.

But the parents have to agree to place them in an alternative school, or to be put on half days, or alternate passing period, etc. Most of the time the parents don't want alternative school because they have to transport, they don't want half days because the school is a free babysitter for them, and alternative passing period would get the kid laughed at because the kid would be escorted from class to class.

But what is my wife supposed to do. Refusal of action at the top of the ladder, ties the hands of everyone underneath.

There needs to be some housecleaning done at the administrative offices, and it needs to be done quickly! Let's get a superintendant in here that isn't afraid to hurt feelings and is truly interested in what is best for the children. It is the only way that we can move forward as a community. Our school district is holding us back.

04-10-2008, 10:41 AM
On average, middle schools are much worse than High Schools or Elementary. It seems that in middle school, fights and gang problems are much more elevated than in other school institutes. Surely this kid should get no special attention he/she should be seen as a threat to other kid's safety and should be expelled from the school.

By the time they are in high school, the trouble makers have primarily dropped out. The ones in middle school, especially the upper grades, can be real terrors.

04-10-2008, 10:58 AM
Federal law comes into play when it comes to public education and most local districts have tried to comply by including procedural requirements in their policies. Normally, when a child is special ed, or suspected to be special ed, they have to do a manifestation determination of sorts (object is to see whether the child's behavior was a result of the disability). If the child is NOT found to have behaved as a result of his disability, he is treated like other students although, obviously, the punishment would need to fit the crime. If the disability is found to have caused or contributed, they have to make appropriate accomodations, whatever that means.

Generally, even if there is a disability, the schools will do a threat assessment (this is a separate question). I absolutely can't imagine allowing a child, even a special ed child, to remain in the base school when violence like this took place. Parents have a few tiers of appeal they can utilize, but still... I don't know much about the situation, but if they are balancing the risk of a lawsuit in their decision, I hope they stop to consider that all h*ll will break loose if that special ed child repeats this behavior. Three to four stitches is nothing to sneeze at. Moreover, it has been my experience, sadly, that depending on the disability, many special ed kids that engage in this behavior do it again. I have to wonder if they did a threat assessment in this case because it is a whole separate question than whether the child is entitled to an accomodation. Parents don't get to decide that their little ax murderers are going to the public school just becasue they have a learning disability. Or shouldn't.

The schools around here (back east) will kick out a kid for sneezing on you and placing you at risk for a cold. They didn't used to be that way but the kids have gotten so violent (forget about Columbine - ask the probation officers and they'll tell you) that the schools are a zoo. Truth be told, I think they are doing their level best to try to clear out the schools of disruptions just so a minimal amount of teaching is possible. Unfortunately, even the kids who aren't dangerous can be horrible disruptions and so many parents won't stand behind the teachers.

My kids went to Putnam City schools and I was delighted with their education. That was years ago, of course. Where I live, there is NO WAY I'd send my kids to the zoos so many places have become.

Let me add, long years ago I was a teacher at a junior high in OKC. Loved the teaching but even then, it was getting bad. One year, I took to locking my door between bells to make sure no one would bust in and cause trouble. When it dawned on my how crazy that was, I gave up teaching and went back to law school.