I’m responding to the May 15 editorial, “Our View: Use of restraints, seclusion means schools are failing.”

I was troubled by the need for so much emergency intervention in the schools. I agree that the numbers are quite problematic, and I agree that the schools should get the help they need. To me that means returning schools to their original function, as places to educate children who are able to benefit from the skills of a teacher as a teacher.

Over the years, we have increasingly expected our teachers to be not just educators, but social workers, psychologists, health and well-being monitors, security officers, and, in so many ways, substitute parents. I applaud our teachers, whose commitment to their careers have them taking on so many hats in lieu of actual social services outside the classroom to properly manage what are not educational issues, but societal issues invading the school grounds.

If families are having issues with feeding, dressing or socializing their children, and if government wants to intervene and adopt some of those responsibilities, then let them create the support services outside the classroom. If there is a student for whom being in the structured environment that is required for effective education is an “ongoing emergency,” that child needs to be elsewhere under the supervision of their parents, who can pursue what assistance their child obviously needs.

I feel this should occur without allowing continuous disruption of the educational process for all the other students who, despite all the challenges of modern society, managed to arrive in the classroom ready to learn. We seem to have forgotten that the purpose of teachers is, first and foremost, to educate.

 

John R. Seksay

Augusta


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