Protect our special needs students

Published 12:34 am Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our children — especially those with special needs — deserve to feel safe when they enter school grounds each day and while they’re under the direct care of educators.

The videos that surfaced recently on social media of a teacher dragging a special needs student by the hair across a Greenville High School gym floor left many upset, angered and sickened that someone who is responsible for caring for students would act so inhumanely towards a child.

On Friday, it was learned the teacher has been suspended of her duties at the school by the Mississippi Department of Education and the school district superintendent has also been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

Criminal charges are also possible, but that’s not enough.

Mississippi needs legislation in place to protect special needs children. State senator Gray Tollison introduced such legislation in 2014 but it died in the state house  after clearing the state senate without any opposition.

We urge Senator Tollison to once again introduce his bill in the next session and perhaps this time the entire Mississippi Legislature will see the need for protecting the most vulnerable students in our school systems.