Nov 2, 2018, Oregonian: PORTLAND NEWS Grade-schoolers grabbed breasts of Portland school workers, lawsuit says https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/11/grade_schoolers_sexually_assau.html Two employees who were assigned to assist special needs students in the classroom have filed a $900,000 lawsuit against Portland Public Schools, claiming the district ignored their pleas for help as violent students repeatedly grabbed their breasts, shoved their hands down the women’s pants and otherwise assaulted them. Joyce Moore and Virginia Ferrer-Burgett worked as paraeducators for some of the district’s youngest students -- pupils at Woodlawn Elementary School who had a range of disabilities, according to their lawsuit filed Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The abuse was so bad that when the district’s senior director of student services at the time, Mary Pearson, and special education administrator, Linda Moon, visited the school, the students also grabbed their breasts, the lawsuit says. … Rebecca Cambreleng, a Portland attorney representing the women, said though their lawsuit describes the behavior as sexual assault, she doesn’t think the children had sexual motivations. Rather, it was their way of expressing frustration or trying to get the attention of the paraeducators, Cambreleng said. In addition to the inappropriate touching, the suit says, students also choked, bit, kicked, punched, head-butted and urinated on Moore and Ferrer-Burgett. Students threw furniture at them, and Moore suffered at least one broken toe after one student stamped on her foot, according to the lawsuit and Cambreleng. … … The women fault the district for allegedly failing to place the students in settings where their behavior could be properly addressed by staff members with additional training, she said. The lawsuit describes classroom instruction grinding to a halt when a student acted up. “Several times a week the (Communication Behavior) Classroom would have to be cleared and all education in that room interrupted because a student was having a dangerous behavioral episode and threatening themselves, other students, and the educators,” the lawsuit says. The lawsuit says paraeducators at the school had to chase after special needs students who bolted from the classroom and tried to leave the school on a "regular basis." Moore says she tore her shoulder while stopping a student before the student tried to jump from the top of a staircase down onto a landing in an attempt to escape. …
top of page
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
bottom of page