Eugene, OR: Staff untrained to deal emotional outburst in classrooms

Nov 17, 2017, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard: Eugene schools face lack of space, cash and trained personnel to cope with disruptive students, critics say Recent police visits to Eugene schools following belligerent ¬behavior by ¬students have prompted many ¬questions about how taxpayer dollars are being spent in public schools. Some of those questions include whether staff are adequately trained to deal with such students; how the ¬district decides which schools should house ¬special programs for students with poor behavior; and how much money the ¬district allocates to special education. Districts are required, under state and federal law, to “mainstream” into ¬regular classrooms those students who have ¬behavioral issues. But the district has few options and limited staffing available when a ¬student has an ¬emotional outburst serious enough to require clearing the room. Other students usually are moved to a different classroom, hallway or gymnasium during the disturbance. But parents, teachers and others say there’s not enough space to ¬accommodate this practice. Public schools in Oregon already are crowded. As of Oct. 1, the Eugene School District had 16,355 enrolled ¬students. About 14 percent of the ¬student ¬population requires special education, the ¬district has determined. … Finding and keeping adequately trained instructional and educational ¬assistants who can handle students with disabilities is another area of concern. … Cheryl Linder, the Eugene School District director of educational support services, said Wednesday that Eugene ¬district staff members at each ¬location receive “training as appropriate,” and that staff members at large schools attend district-level training.

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