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Libertarian Organization Blasts Student Safety Act

March 10, 2010 by  

Libertarian organization blasts student safety act On March 4, the House of Representatives approved the Keeping All Students Safe Act by a vote of 262 to 153. The legislation is aimed at protecting children from inappropriate uses of disciplinary practices in schools.

The law was inspired by a government investigation that found widespread allegations that children were being abused through misuses of restraint and seclusion in classrooms.

Prepared by the Government Accountability Office, the report stated that children as young as 3 and 4 were disciplined using ropes, duct tape and chairs with straps and bungee cords to restrain or isolate them. The experience was nearly universal, affecting students with disabilities and without disabilities, and those who attended both public and private schools.

"This critical piece of legislation confronts the unimaginable situation in schools across the country whereby some of our nation’s most vulnerable children are treated in an inhumane and degrading manner," said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), original sponsor of the bill.

However, the organization American Principles in Action did not agree, saying it will limit freedoms enjoyed by private and religious schools.

Its executive director, Andresen Blom, said that 80 percent of Catholic schools and a large number of independent private schools accept federal government funding. "Americans do not pay their hard-earned money to private schools in order to subject them to burdensome and subjective regulations written by unelected federal and state bureaucrats," he stated.

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  • Ken Roberts

    That is why Columbine happened, the government gave control of the schools to the students they are to be treated like they are made of glass. When you take away all hope and give the student free reign over teachers then you have a recipe for danger.

  • Joe H.

    While I am against real abuse of children, when a child acts up in class appropiate punishment should be used to teach that child there are consequences for inappropiate actions. I was paddled in school and I didn’t grow up to be an axe murderer. When they took control of the students out of the schools hands, they lost control of the students!!!

    • Al


  • Victor L Barney

    The only current agenda of the Federal Government is to become a Marxist government that controls everything! Interestingly, according to Karl Marx, it is anti-messiah, too! Are we living in the final days of man? We’ll soon find out?

  • woodbutcher

    Columbine happened becuase 2 of the students who had been teased ridaculed and bullied for yrs finally had enough and snapped. not because the teachers couldnt spank a child or tie a child to a chair or make them stand in a corner with a sign on him that said dunce.Teachers regularly ignore students being bullied and say nothing when the jocks or more popular kids pick on the quite or non athletic kids..The 2 kids in columbine simply had enouh of being treated like crap and i dont recall at the moment but 1 or both may have been on anti depressents which we are now finding out are very dangerous when given to kids that age.All this bill will do is make sure that teachers and administrators who hurt a student will be held accountable for it.Its is just a shame we need a law to make sure that students are not hurt by a teacher while in school.

    • Carri Byers

      Columbine happened because the parents of the two boys in question were absentee. These boys were allowed to be on computers till all hours of the evening and morning without any checks and balances. The parents were surprised at what was found in the boys room. The family is the front line in the battle against the world, including bullying. If the parents had been involved with their boys’ lives, chances are much better that Columbine wouldn’t have happened. You can’t replace the family with federal intervention…no matter how sure Obama is that you can.

    • Carri Byers

      Columbine happened because the parents of those two boys were absentee. They allowed the boys to be on the computer and playing violent video games into all hours of the evening and wee hours of the morning without checks and balances. The parents were surprised by what was found in their children’s room. I can tell you I would not be surprised by what is in my teenagers’ rooms. Any responsible parent would be involved and connected to their teens whether the teen wanted it or not…especially if the teen didn’t want it. The family is the first line of defense against the encroachment of the world. If the family is strong, things like bullying can be dealt with. When a child is left to his own devises, then they start thinking about killing.

      Federal intervention never has and never will replace a strong family. If the government really wanted to help the schools, they would be encouraging strong stable families.

    • Robin from Arcadia, IN

      Perhaps Columbine would never have happened if teachers and administrators were allowed to discipline the kids who were doing the bullying. There are a lot of factors that go into this tragedy. Parents not doing their job; kids that don’t attend church; teachers who should have been more alert; boys that don’t bother to look for positive role models; etc. etc.

      Any time the government steps in to put a stop to anything they deem harmful, the end result is usually not good. I work in a school. I see a lot of things that would have never went on in my school days. I have teenagers. They do face obstacles, but not as many as the teachers and administrators, bus drivers, etc. have to face.

  • sabre’

    This applies to the bus ride to and from school also! I just got a lay-off ( really a suspension) because as a bus driver I would always have any children who were disrupting the bus, move up to a front seat. I did this with no problem for 11 years, now I am out of a job because one of the moms ( parent of the brat of the bus ) says I am bullying her child by moving his seat!!! I can’t wait to find out what happens when he gets a job someday and how she will stand up for him then! Then she’ll be involved in his marriage too. I feel bad for this child! This has now taught every child on the bus a new lesson..that is don’t et people in authority tell you what to do! Get them fired instead!

    • laura

      You are so right. And I’m sorry for your situation. The parents are to blame.It used to be parents sided with authority now they’re against it all.The up and coming generation will not be able to control themselves and are tax dollars will be paying for more institutions.

    • Earl, QUEENS, NY

      It’s sad to hear of your situation, sabre’. The problem is not just in the classroom or on school buses. I see them everywhere – unruly brats – in stores, on public transit….even in my church!! Although there may be some parents who don’t care if their kids are undisciplined, it could also be that many parents are just afraid to discipline their kids – for fear of who may be watching them. There are many (anti-family gestapo) agencies with case workers who can take their kids away. Regretably, many of these ignorant workers can’t tell the difference between REAL child abuse, and unruly brats who won’t tolerate discipline. When it comes to raising kids, government (on all levels) should do what it does best (but seldom does) – BUTT OUT.

      • libertytrain

        Earl, you make some good points. Especially about parent’s being afraid these days – to be parents – somehow parents have lost control of their kids via the government.

  • Ken Roberts

    You have to look at all of it, why were they on anti depressants? why did the parents not deal with the problem at home . there are many things that cause the bad things that happen in schools today not enough room to list them all but two items are prayer and discipline , with out those you have a bad situation. no hope and no structure.We already had laws protecting students from abuse and the problem is the law is never enforced. No one is for abusing any one especially children , but to take all discipline away is insane

    • Joe H.

      Why are most of these kids on antidepressants or amphetamine, which is what adderol is???? because 1 the teachers don’t know how to keep the kids interested in what they are teaching, 2 the parents don’t want to be bothered with the problem and 3 the schools are telling the parents to put their kids on meds because they are “hyper-active”!!

  • Dan Burke

    Really, this is about making teachers responsible for their actions? This rings more to me about protecting children from the dangers of the world. I hate to break to people. (start whispering) The world is dangerous. (end whisper) Personally, while I would like to think I would support my children in their defense against bullies, I would also encourage them to realize that there are consequences for their actions. So if my kid snapped, I would want them to be “punished” for their own actions. As for the bullying, I would my kid to learn to deal with it. Ideally, I would want the bully punished as fits their crime but I know there are bullies all throughout life and of all sorts so as terrible as it is, they will need to learn to cope with people like that sooner or later.

  • Carri Byers

    If Catholic Schools are accepting Federal Funding they deserve what is coming down the line. You play with the devil, you pay the devil.

  • Carri Byers

    If Catholic Schools are accepting Federal Funding they deserve what is coming down the line. You play with the devil, you pay the devil.

    • Joe H.

      I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think Catholic schools accept federal funds. that is why parents want vouchers to send their children to them!!! I still say when they took the schools ability to dicipline away, the kids took over!!!

      • libertytrain

        Ah Joe H. – Give me a teaching Nun from the 60′s and I’ll give you an educated classroom. And probably polite, disciplined, self-motivating, etc.

        • JC

          Man ain’t that the truth! I went to a uniformed catholic school where the teachers were nuns. I have respect for my elders and others and I’m literate. But I haven’t set foot in church sinse (other than weddings and funerals)

          • libertytrain

            Those gals were there to teach us…other than a catechism class that taught us about the Catholic Church, daily mass, I don’t recall any serious indoctrination going on from the religious end – grade school or high school. – At least all mine seemed to be there to teach you and also encouraged Christ-like behavior by their behavior, not the “wrath of God is upon you” kind of religious stuff. They led by example. A few are still role models in my mind.

      • eyeswideopen

        JoeH, who do you think pays for the vouchers? Fed monies, that’s what. Your tax dollars at work.

        • DaveH

          The Federal Government shouldn’t be involved in education at all. Education is a state issue. Everywhere that I have lived, the locals pay for the public schools through their property taxes. And that is where the voucher money should come from.
          For those who say then the government would be involved in the private school choices, I say that is a separate issue. There is absolutely no reason that money from the taxpayers should dictate how the schools are run.
          If you want that kind of system, then let’s have no taxpayer-funded education for public schools or private schools.

        • Joe H.

          and who pays for the kids to go to public school???? The same federal funds!!!! Don’t be so dead from the sholders up!!!!

          • eyeswideopen

            JoeH, my neighbor, who doesn’t have children doesn’t mind paying taxes for schools, however he doesn’t want to contribute to religious schools as he is Jewish and doesn’t feel that his money should help with the Catholic schools. He has a valid point, why should his money be used to give subsidies to the Christian schools?

          • Joe H.

            then why should my taxes pay for abortion???

          • eyeswideopen

            JoeH, they don’t, can’t you read? But, our taxes do pay for religious schools, why aren’t you outraged about that? Don’t you want to support our Constitution? Didn’t think so. Hypocrital don’t you think?

          • Joe H.

            I look at the quality of the education being given, not who is teaching them unless they are in my opine immoral!! Proven fact, the private christian schools score higher than public schools on the standardized state tests. also their graduation records are better!!!

  • Eric S.

    This certainly seems to be a message to students you can do as you want and get away with it within the confines of this legislative act. It certainly is inappropriate to impose on private or religious based schools unless it deals with criminal type situations. There are laws on the books and most of these are the rightful place of the individual states to enforce. In my opinion at first glance is that this bill’s legislative basis is mute and aught to be struck down. You can count on the Fed to screw things up when it is outside of their jurisdictions and constitutional obligations. Wow, I inadvertently found one area the federal government is good at and consistent with.

  • s c

    The best, basic solution to ‘education’ is to homeschool as many children as possible. That will accelerate the implosion of what passes for ‘education’ in the US. It will yield students who
    have much potential, prove that teacher unions are worthless, force school administrators to go back to the classroom(s) and give parents a reason to believe that real jobs are waiting for their children.
    Public education is a pathetic, incredibly expensive joke. Leaving it in the hands of the world’s worst role model (uncle scam) is the worst
    possible approach. It failed many years ago. See it for what it is, people.

    • laura


  • duh

    Bottom line, by not punishing children who disrupt school or disrespect their teachers, we are telling the little hethans it’s okay to act like a fool. That it’s okay to lip off or whatever. There is a difference between abuse and discipline. Today’s children have no idea what discipline is and these are the spoiled little rats who will be running this country if it isn’t run into the ground before then. Parent’s aren’t parents anymore. Period.

    • laura

      I totally agree!!!!!

    • Joe H.

      and then later in life when they get fired from mouthing off to their boss they want to sue them for it!!!

    • Sandra

      You’re absolutely right duh.
      The lack of discipline at home starts the child off in the wrong direction, and then he/she will try the same crap at school. The teachers are then stuck between a rock and a hard spot. They can’t teach the other students because 1 or 2 or 10 kids are disrupting the class, but they aren’t allowed to mete out any punishment or correction, so the whole classroom is screwed. This is why the whole educational system is so screwed up and so many don’t graduate.
      These same non-disciplined kids turn into ignorant adults who go postal at their jobs, or on the street, and end up in correctional facilities where they FINALLY get the discipline they should have gotten at home when they were children. This all started years ago when our “liberal socialist society” started, approx. early ’70′s.
      My sister raised 3 kids with almost no discipline at all.
      Only 1 graduated high school and she has been married 4 times in 9 years, and has at least one illegitimate child. She and my sister haven’t spoken to each other for years. In fact I think they actually hate each other.
      The second was in State reform school 6 or 7 times from age 12 till age 18, never graduated H.School, and is now back in State prison. The 3rd never graduated H.S. has been incarcerated (prison) once for 2 years, county jail numerous times, doesn’t want a job, can’t keep a job, and lives with his mommy at age 40. ha ha
      I wonder if she knows that this all leads back to the “liberal” way she raised them? People need to wake up!!!

  • CJ

    When laws are one-sided (here, only limiting teachers) the other side will go further out of control. There will always be a balance. Human nature is to resist being controlled. Limit what teachers can do, and students are free to do more. Teachers struggle, in desperation, to control the unruly kids, looking for a way, only to have the government take that away. The problem is the government making laws without alternative offers to get the real job done. It will only get worse until we have LESS government.

  • cerebus23

    when i was in pre school, coming from broken home, often left home alone because my mother worked 2 jobs, so i acted out at school of course desperate for attention of any kind.

    one day my and two friends were disrupting some activity or nap time or something. so we got hauled out me and my 2 gang mates, into a seperate room were sat down, and me being the wise 2 year old i was continued to talk away, the teacher or monitor whatever she was, ask me to be quiet probably several times, and then got masking tape and taped my mouth shut. my being wise beyond my years used my hands to remove the tape and continue blabbering, so next time she taped my hands behind my back and then taped my mouth shut.

    was this traumatizing? no, was it maybe a tad excessive? possibly but there was no physical damage, and i was for lack of a better term a smart ass brat, that these days probably would have been pumped full of riddalin or prozac or any number of narcotic cocktails that we feed kids like candy.

    having an abusive father that was traumatizing, and the first few times you wake up and your in the house alone that is traumatizing, but you get over it. nothing they can cook up in school can possibly be more traumatizing than things that happen at home.

    reasonable discipline is and should be allowed, the real world is a much harsher place and make no sense to just coddle people from cradle to high school by dumbing down standards, sparing the rod as it were, and then letting them get dumped into the real world never having known what hardship and criticism is like. nevermind the bullying that kids can do to one another is probably far worse than 90% of the things any school official can think of.

  • eddie47d

    Disipline in schools is a must. Getting a good education when others are acting up is tough;it also puts a strain on good teachers. Physical punishment and duct tape should be avoided. Parents must be notified immediately,even if they are at work. The disrupting student must be removed and sent home to a guardian.(not alone). If the parent misses enough work maybe they will get the picture. Then they can get their child the appropriate help. (That includes the bullies and sometimes even the bullied).

  • Harold Olsen

    Teachers should be allowed to discipline students if they misbehave, but it should be limited. When I was growing up, I’m 60, if you misbehaved you were sent to the principle’s office. He would sometimes give you a spanking with a paddle if he felt to you warranted it. I don’t believe they should have the right to do that.

    In the first grade, I attended a Catholic school. One day, my teacher, a nun, decided I had misbehaved, though to this day have no idea what I did, and she took a wooden ruler and smacked the palm of my hand with it. I went home and told my parents about it. The next day my mother went to school with me and read that nun the riot act and told her that under no circumstances was she ever to touch me again. If I misbehaved, she and my father would punish me not her. That nun looked terrified of my mother who was a tiny, 5’2″ thin Italian woman and that nun was a head taller.

    • Joe H.

      My father, and I’m 59, told the school if I misbehaved they could and should spank me on the hind-end. He then told me that if I got a spanking at school, I would get another when I got home. I wasn’t a straight A student, but I never got in much trouble in school either cause I knew my father was a man of his word!!! I also knew the few times he did punish me he gave it to me good!!! I loved and respected my father and he always tried to make sure I never went without and I was well cared for. I only saw tears in his eyes twice. Once was right after he whipped me, and the other was when I shipped out for VietNam!!

  • Allan

    Education reform is needed as much as healthcare reform. Administrators now orchestrate their careers to avoid lawsuits and accountability for performance. Unions put their priorities above students and apend the majority of their time (and dues) making excuses for poor results and complaining about funding. We spend the most per student (right up there with Switzerland) and rank well below the developed nations average achievement in key areas. Declining results eat at the best teachers, but those who want to change things can’t in a system without accountability. Like Congress, the educational institution is shielded by protective layers that guarantee declining performance. Public school teachers typically adjust expectations downward after a few years in the mill. Neither Albert Einstein, Beethoven, nor a reknowned author of your choice could actually qualify for public school jobs in most states today…they’re structured to keep the most creative and accomplished in our society on the sidelines. More government interference is assured. For U.N. fans, Article 29 [of the UN Convention on Rights of the Child] limits the right of parents and others to educate children in private school by requiring that all such schools support both the charter and principles of the United Nations and a list of specific values and ideals. Competition, not creeping liberalism, is the cure…support candidates who support private alternatives. Oddly, this may be the one area that Obama could manage to increase competitiveness and accountability, if he lives up to his campaign rhetoric.

    • JC

      I’m still trying to figure out where Libertarians fit into this mess.

  • phred

    Cerebus23 and Harold Olsen both make excellent points and well thought out posts.
    The bill in question LIMITS the types of disciplinary things teachers can do, it DOES NOT disallow discipline.
    When my kids were in school every teacher they had knew the rules I lived by, and expected them (the teachers) to live by:
    If my kids misbehaved I was to be informed and I would administer what discipline I thought appropriate—the teacher, the principle, the superintendant, nor any other school officials were to administer corporal punishment. I even had to tell one of them, a male, that if he WERE to decide, and carry out any kind of corporal punishment on one of my kids he would face the same thing from me, but, according to his bible, he would receive at least a fourfold increase.
    I do not consider separating problem kids, restraining problem kids, things of that nature, corporal punishment, however, when an adult decides to administer physical punishment to a child, as far as I am concerned that’s chhild abuse, unless it’s the parent giving a spanking. And remember a spanking is not the same as a beating!
    BTW, in this regard I was ALWAYS at odds with my first mother-in-law. She always told her kids ( my wife included, of course) that, “If I hear you got a spanking at school, when you get home you’ll get another spanking here!” My thinking is, if they DID get a spanking, or any other corporal punishment, at school, I would find out why, when, who, etc., then would decide if they needed further discipline at home, from me or their mother. Then I would, as I said before, proceed to the school and the school official who administered such would suffer the consequences I found proper for physically abusing my child!
    There seems a lot of kneejerk reaction here, and the shouts of “taking away discipline in schools” …and allt he “bad stuff” that will ensue really has nothing to do with the article, nor the bill in question. And, is the “American Principles in Action” the “Libertarian Organization” which is said to have “blasted the decision”? I am a Libertarian, but have never heard of that organization until now. I think maybe the Livingston group are simply trying to start a controversy where one shouldn’t exist.

    • DaveH

      You’re right Phred. I could find no link between “American Principles in Action” and the Libertarian Party.

  • DaveH

    Here is the list of Representatives that voted for this Bill:

  • Sharon

    This is one of the many bad consequences of divorce. I know. I am a single parent of a very strong-willed little boy, with no positive male role model to show him what it means to be a good man. This trouble has been brewing for decades and the government has encouraged it. This is also one of the many bad ceonsequences of moral relativism, where we have thrown God out of our society and replaced it with humanism, something that Hitler thought was a good thing. So no wonder kids are being tied up and it’s justified in some twisted minds because they don’t have a moral compass to guide their life. Our children are turning out this way because leadership on ALL levels have failed miserably. Bring back God and biblical principles, and you will see a restoration of sanity to this land.

  • DaveH

    Where is the Federal Governments power to regulate schools mentioned in the Constitution? This a state matter which should be addressed in the Courts by the Parents if they think their children have been wronged.
    Keep the Feds out of our children’s education!

  • DaveH

    Clean the House in fall of 2010!

  • Joe H.

    Why should the students that want to learn and graduate, be required to have their learning disrupted by some little snot nose that doesn’t? My oldest is the only one of mine that did it and she only did it once. She got every one of her electronic toys taken away and was grounded for two weeks. I promised her that she would have a very warm seat if she ever did it again, and she knew I NEVER broke promises to her. that’s why I didn’t make them frivolously!!

  • Wanda

    First we need to get the government, unions and acorns out of our schools. Then we need to make sure the children who misbehave will know that they will be punished. I mean something as simple as assigning them loads of extra homework. That would get their attention We need to get the teachers out of our schools that think what the far out left does is alright not caring if its for the good of the children. Then we need to tell the acorns to take a hike and mind their own business. America we have to get people out of our government that do not have any business there in the first place. We need to take our country back.


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