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Over 50 organizations and 75 bloggers have now joined the campaign to stop REAL ID.  The deadline for submitting comments to the Department of Homeland Security is May 8th at 5:00 pm EST, so take a minute to send your comments now!

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Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 09:00 AM PST

Top 10 Worst Privacy Breaches of 2006

by Dissent

Cross-posted from Chronicles of Dissent.

For better or worse, and mostly worse, here's my list of top 10 privacy breaches or outrages of the year. Some of the entries below received a lot of media coverage, while others seem to have been ignored or only had 15 minutes of fame.

Poll

Do you think that the 110th Congress will do a better job on protecting our privacy than the 109th Congress did?

18%10 votes
51%28 votes
29%16 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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There is a petition available that NYS residents can sign to urge the Board of Regents and the NYS Education Department to immediately revoke the "emergency" regulations that they enacted on June 23rd.  These "emergency" regulations, while appearing to prohibit the use of "aversive behavioral interventions" -- such as electric skin shock, ammonia sprays, hot pepper sauce on children's tongues -- actually now open the door for every public school, preschool, state-approved private school, and BOCES facility to use these methods on disabled children if they obtain a waiver to do so.  The procedure for getting a waiver is that the district basically asks itself and the state, "Can we do this?" and then decides whether it can or can't, regardless of the advice of the state.  I kid you not.
Poll

Should public schools be allowed to use electric skin shock on disabled students under any conditions?

6%2 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
89%26 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton Massachusetts has long been the center of controversy because of its use of electric skin shock and other aversive techniques on disabled students.  

Now it seems that some of the staff are under investigation.

Tomorrow, the NYS Board of Regents meets to vote on proposed regulations that open the door to allow aversives to be used on disabled students in NY schools and in NYS-approved private schools.  See my earlier diaries on the NYS proposals for more info.

 

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Every day, children with disabilities are  being subjected to traumatizing and harmful aversive procedures and restraints in the name of "treating" or "remediating" the children's "maladaptive behaviors."  And if they're on Medicaid or eligible for Medicaid waivers, these kids may be "cash cows" for schools in NY.
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Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did.  NYS revised what were already horrific proposals for disabled students so that the children will have even less protections.  You must read this to believe it....
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Someone asked me for resources pertaining to the school-related and family issues of special needs kids.  Here's a selected list of my recommendations, organized by topic, for parents and teachers. I've included some, but not all disorders in this listing. This list is probably more teacher-oriented than family-oriented, because a lot of our biggest problems as parents relates to how the schools handle our children. I am willing to compile more resources, if there's significant interest, but I got bleary-eyed from working on the list and stopped for the day.
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Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:41 AM PDT

Shock vs. Awe in the Classroom

by Dissent

This is part of a series of diaries on proposed regulations to allow public schools, preschools, and state-approved private schools in New York to use aversives and noxious stimuli on disabled children. The Board of Regents will be considering the proposal at their meeting on June 19, and I have urged concerned parents and educators to contact the Board of Regents to express their concerns about this proposal.
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This is part of a series on proposed education regulations for New York State that, under the guise of barring the use of aversive controls on disabled children, would actually now permit public schools, preschools, and state-approved private placements to use aversives and noxious stimuli to control students' maladaptive behavior if the district obtains a "child-specific waiver."
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Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:26 PM PDT

Restrain the educators, not the kids!

by Dissent

All over the country, we have reports of children and teens who have been seriously harmed or even died in schools or treatment facilities because of the inappropriate use of aversive controls. This entry is part of a series of entries I've written in response to new proposals by the New York State Education Department..
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For the past few days, I've been blogging about the abuse of special needs kids in New York State public schools and state-approved private schools and why parents in NYS need to contact the Board of Regents to tell them to vote 'No!' on proposed regulations that would essentially authorize the use of aversives and torture techniques on disabled kids. In this entry, I describe some of the past atrocities perpetrated on kids and why we can't trust the NYS Education Department to monitor and enforce protections for children.
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The treatment of detainees at Gitmo is shameful, but we don't need to look offshore to find examples of government-sponsored torture. The New York State Education Dept. (NYSED) is proposing to permit the use of some torture techniques on disabled children.

For background on the proposed regulations, see my previous diaries on this issue here and here.

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