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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Setting a fine example NOT!

Our public education system fails miserably more often than not when educating our young. Besides that, you read stories like this.

Takovia Allen is 6 years old. She’s a special education student at her elementary school. And for about four hours several weeks ago, she was a juvenile jail inmate.

Her mother wants to know why.

Tamara Williams, 30, said Tuesday she wants to understand how the problem went that far, so far that Takovia is now charged with a felony.

Her daughter suffers from behavioral problems and attends a special class at Lely Elementary. On May 2, before the teacher began trying to line up the students to go to music class, Takovia refused to go. According to the arrest report, the girl demonstrated that refusal by kicking Debra Dolan, the teacher’s aide, in the right ankle and trying to trip her.

“Dolan had to use a chair to maintain her balance,” according to the report, written by the arresting deputy, John R. Barraco. “Dolan had an abrasion and redness on the top of her ankle.”

After discussion among the school dean and principal, the deputy and a detective, both of whom were called to the school to respond to the battery call, and a Collier County Sheriff’s Office supervisor contacted by phone, 3-foot, 9-inch, 50-pound Takovia was to be arrested and charged with battery on a public education employee. That’s a felony.

Williams was called and came down to the school, where she and the deputy led Takovia to the patrol car to be taken to juvenile jail. The girl was held there for about four hours, after which she was released to her mother’s custody.

The State Attorney’s Office won’t comment on pending juvenile cases. So it’s unclear how prosecutors will handle the case. It’s possible Takovia will enter a diversion program, which would include counseling and ends with a dropped charge if she completes the terms of the program.

Collier County Public School officials declined to comment on behalf of the district, the school or Dolan, citing confidentiality regulations preventing officials from releasing information about individual students.

Williams is a School District employee herself, working with students at Naples High School who have behavioral problems in a program called ESE, for exceptional student education. It’s the same kind of program Takovia attends at Lely. Hers is a class of six students ranging from kindergarten to second grade.

“Being in that classroom, the teachers are aware of the students and their behaviors. The aides know too,” Williams said.

Takovia has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in which children have difficulty paying attention and focusing on tasks. And she has trouble with authority figures if problems aren’t handled a very specific way.

What started the conflict that led to the arrest involved another student and the teacher’s aide’s failure to follow Takovia’s “behavior plan,” Williams said.
Arresting a six-year-old for kicking an adult and then pressing felony charges? Did any adult involved with this case think? This is a horrible over reaction, special needs student or not. I was teased by other students and often got the crap beat out of me alot worse than a kick in the ankle. Did anyone get charged with a felony?

You read stories like that of Takovia Allen and ones like this and you question the judgment and education of the people running our schools today. Someone in Collier County needs to answer for this disgrace, but will anyone have the brains to admit this was embarassing overreaction.

Stay tuned. I smell a bunch of people about to get a knucklehead award.

Hat tip- Rhymes with Right
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