THE BLOG

The Focus Room, and the Other Side of the Story

05/19/2015 04:28 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2016

The internet is blowing up over The Focus Room incident where a parent discovered that their child was being put in this Focus Room for hours on end. Many are reasonably horrified, and I think there is a lot of reason for concern and investigation. However... I can't help but wonder about the other side of the story: The school's side.

I worked as a TSS (therapeutic support staff) for about four years. During those four years I was kicked, punched, slapped in the face, & bit to the point of having to go get a Tetanus shot.

I have taken off children's shoes so that it didn't hurt so badly when they kicked me.

I have had to physically restrain a child in the school hallway (something that we were trained in before starting the job).

I have seen children run away into the neighboring woods during recess with their aid sprinting after them.

I have seen kind and helpful adults get spit on by the child they were trying to help.

I have heard children threaten adults and classmates with specific death threats.

I have seen the police called on elementary school children because the school was out of options.

I have seen parents not show up for meetings and essentially ignore the severity of the situation.

I have seen parents flip out on the principal for calling them into school to pick up their child.

It is because of this that I am not quick to condemn the school & teachers involved in this situation.

We are in a very difficult situation. Schools are not equipped to handle these kinds of severe behaviors, but children deserve more than being sent away to a residential facility.

It is another indication of a mental health system in need of some major changes, & I hope that this incident will bring awareness to the larger problem.