Calming Device or Restraining Tool?

Body Sock - Body Sock
Canada
December 14, 2006 8:23pm CST
Pinellas Park, FL a 4 year old was placed into a body sock by a teachers-aid and when the parents came to pick up their son they discovered he was inclosed in a body sock. The school board said they old used this method of theropy to calm the students down not to punish them. Howver the parent did not see it that way. What is your opinon? Is it a calming devices or a restraining tool? Do teaches have the authority to do this?? (www.cnn.com)
10 people like this
54 responses
• United States
15 Dec 06
Let me tell you... if a teacher does that to my daughter, my husband would have to hold me back, because I'd end up in jail after I beat the living hell out of the teacher! Florida is weird for rules like that... when I was living in Florida, I was in the fourth grade. Our fourth grade class got to go to the high school for field day. Field day is when you have track and field: You can jump over the hurdles, run around the track , tug of war.. etc. and it's alot of fun. Well my friend and I had to use the restroom, and back then they were using the buddy system. After we came out, we saw some girls standing right outside of the boy's bathroom. Of course we were curious to see what it looked like in there, and my friend and I stood at the very edge of the entrance too afraid to go in there. A girl behind us pushed us in, and ran and told the teacher we walked in there. Our teacher made my friend and I sit in the hot Florida sun for two hours without any water. (It was in May, and I had just moved there from New Jersey; I had very fair skin- no tan yet). Some of the kids kept sneaking us water. The teacher caught us drinking the water and took our cups away from us. Our friends snuck some more water to us, and we did not care if we got caught. When we got home, my mother was wondering why I was as red as a lobster. My friend's mother called my mom a few moments later and told her what happened. When my dad found out, he called the principal the very next day. He told my dad that they had been using that method of punishment for years. My dad called the superintendent that very same day. The super apologized up and down for what had happened, and that method of punishment WAS NOT being used. He assured my parents that he would talk to the principal and my teacher. They never bothered my friend and I again. This was back in the late 70's when no one sued anybody.
2 people like this
@nhtpscd (1418)
• Australia
15 Dec 06
I am a teacher aide and never in my lifetime would I condone this even for the worst behaved child!!!! At least here in queensland the law prohibits any kind of conduct like that!!
2 people like this
• Canada
15 Dec 06
thank you both for the response, when I was in school, I was punished in te most humilliating way posible and it made me afraid of going home to my parents and if the found out the would have had it dealt with ASAP. thanks for the post
@bobster (219)
15 Dec 06
i think i would freak out if i was put in this. I don't see how this would help a 4 year old to calm down. Surely a cuddle would work better. My nephew used to have really bad temper tantrums when he was this age - he'd hit, kick scream, spit etc and the best thing to do was to be nice to him until he calmed down then talk to him about it. he grew out of it about a year later and is now one of the sweetest kids around.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Dec 06
With my brother he had rage issue and my parents tried everything to calm him down but this would not be one of them. I can see an autism child using this but again must be under doctor supervision. Thanks for the post.
@ThulsZ (784)
• India
15 Dec 06
it depends on when its being used. I see it as a restraining tool for that age. Unless the child is mentally disabled and younger emotionally and mentally, I do not see this as a calming device. I worked at an early intervention center with many mentally underdeveloped children and the device we would use for calming was a weighted vest. The vest had magnetic weights in it and relaxed the child so he could concentrate.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Dec 06
but the parents should know about it first before the teachers take action.
@mansha (6301)
• India
15 Dec 06
What happened to ge old method of time out.To use restrain on a normalchild like this is horrible,If he is not yet insane he will go insane.Imagine yourself being restricted like that will you be able to handle this.I also work with differently abled kids but I strongly advice rewarding behaviors rather than restraining one.Okay I have not come across any kid who needs to explore three dimensional space in relation to his body may be its good for them, I am no authority to dictate on that but to use this on normal kids its really way wrong and school should be asked to quit such practices.Are they training their teachers in art of torturing kids.
• Canada
15 Dec 06
So true, like our kids are monsters or something. thanks for the post
@clownfish (3276)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Hi! Since I have a child who is on the Autistic spectrum, I know a lot about sensory devices such as this one. It's difficult to explain, but some children can't perceive normal sensations the way you or I would. Some need to feel safe and secure, such as when they have a body sock wrapped around them, and sometimes this is so that they can tell spatially where their body is in reference to the rest of the room. Some children with sensory issues cannot feel gravity, so some of them will run and slam into things or do daredevil stunts to get the same sensory input that you or I would get normally. A body sock has a specific purpose. It is to HELP children who experience sensory issues. It is NOT a restraining device. Wrapping this boy in a body sock to calm him down was improper use of this otherwise wonderful tool. These people need to be educated about how to handle children with special needs and issues. :-)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
i hear you, i doubt they were taught what the device was meant for. thanks for the post
@shawnasie (390)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I would have to say it depends on when its being used. I swaddle my baby in a blanket to calm him(he is 3 1/2 months old). I have a 4 yr old and would never use this method of calming theropt. I see it as a restraining tool for that age. Unless the child is mentally disabled and younger emotionally and mentally, I do not see this as a calming device. I worked at an early intervention center with many mentally underdeveloped children and the device we would use for calming was a weighted vest. The vest had magnetic weights in it and relaxed the child so he could concentrate. I also do not think that they should have done this without the permission of the parents.
• Canada
15 Dec 06
I agree, for a four year old he/she would not understand what is happening and I personally would be terrified. thanks for the post
@Echo123 (155)
• United States
15 Dec 06
There are particular protocols, dependent upon the school district and the type of student you are talking about. I am not sure about the policies in Pinellas County, where Pinellas Park is located. Was this an ESE student with known behavior problems? Had the student been referred often and the parent made aware of the issue and potential restrains? I think there are absolutely cases where this is appropriate.
• Canada
15 Dec 06
appenerntly not when I shaw the video interview on CNN they were getting report that the son was doing well in school. thanks for the post.
• United States
16 Dec 06
I dont think that it is right no matter what the case is it is horrble and if they ever did that to my kid i would sue them for so much money the school would be shut down.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Dec 06
i hear ya, thanks for the post
• United States
15 Dec 06
Oh my , I would be one pissed off momma. That has got to be tramatizing if not humiliating to be placed in something like that. What gives the school sytem the right to vote in such usage of punishment with out the knowledge of the parents. Where were they when they wee voting about this?
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Dec 06
I hear you, they should not allow it. thanks for hte post
• Canada
15 Dec 06
Has anybody here read the works of Alice Miller? This story hi-lights one of the many themes of her works about how children are viewed in society, as little better than property that have no feelings and can be treated in any fashion by any authority figure.... And that we should never question this authority because supposedly it's being done "for their own good" - the most dangerous words in the English language as far as I'm concerned. Homeschool people... Homeschool. Don't let people like this teacher and this schools system get their grubby paws and your precious beautiful incredible kids!
• Canada
16 Dec 06
Some parents can't homeschool, My parents could not have for they never finished highschool it was not necesaary for farmer to do that and their education could not meet up with what I need..and some lower class family can afford tutors and so on.
@patgalca (15679)
• Orangeville, Ontario
15 Dec 06
Good Lord! What will they come up with next? How can any school board give permission to a teacher to use this kind of restraint (yes, it is a restraint) on any child? If the child has a problem, advise the parents. Perhaps he needs to be in a special needs class. Teachers are not psychologists and have no right giving any kind of therapy to children. I say sue the teacher, sue the school and sue the school board. And get on Dr. Phil and scream it from the rooftops!
• Canada
15 Dec 06
Dr. Phil would probably aprove of it, thankss for the post
• United States
15 Dec 06
well they tazered a 5 yr old in florida, for having a piece of glass threatening to kill himself, they called the police instead of the parents, now if they cant control a 5 yr old, they have no business in that field, and if a cop ever tazered my son...they would be one less cop, 5 yrs old!!!!!
2 people like this
• Canada
16 Dec 06
Still it should not have happened!!
• United States
15 Dec 06
I would be very upset if I found my childs school using these whether or not my child was invloved! I feel this is not a proper form of punishment. If a parent did this our child would be ripped out of our lives by CPS. What gives a school the right to do this. When this item is used for therpy I believe the real use should be for inside institutions (mental) that doctors are monitoring and using it properly. NOT IN SCHOOLS.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Dec 06
paarents need to get to gether and find out what is happening in there schools! Thanks for the post.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 07
Yupp they do need to be aware of whats going on at their childs schools. Thats why I like to help out in class when I can! So I'm on campus at least once a week if not more...and hopefully if I don't hear about it through newsletters or my daughter I might pick up something by just being there.
• Canada
15 Dec 06
It disturbs me that a device such as this can be used on a child without the parents' knowledge and permission. I understand why devices like the body sock can be useful, but they should be used only under the informed consent of the person involved, or, as in the case of children, under the informed consent of the parent or guardian. The teacher's aid and school (and possibly school district) need to answer for this decision, in my humble opinion. ~Wyrdsister
@patgalca (15679)
• Orangeville, Ontario
15 Dec 06
If a parent were to do this to their own child, Family Services would be called on them. It's just not right.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Dec 06
this is a form of child abuse, if the parents want to use this under the care of a phsician than fine. But not the schools....thanks for the post.
@Bee1955 (3885)
• United States
6 Jan 07
I'm sorry I disagree with the term "child abuse". Read the definition again, its used to explore certain textures but at the same time gives the child a sense of security and relief, like inside of a womb would. I was a special education teacher and we handled unruly "normal" children as well as mentally challenged ones. I wish this was available in my day, it would have been such a help! HOWEVER, I would have been trained in its use properly, not dodge about willy nilly with every troublesome child that comes along. PLUS parents should have been advised of the body sock and its intended use FIRST, and therefore signing a waiver to allow (or not) it to be used on their child under certain or extreme circumstances. You watch, in a few years young parents will be using it to release anxiety in their children or teach them to calm down and reflect instead of hurrying and worry.
• Canada
6 Jan 07
I agree, parents should have been told of what it was useed for and if it means to take a class on it than so be it. thanks for the post
• United States
6 Jan 07
I worked as a paraprofessional for an autistic group. A part of my job was to restrain students from harming themselves and others. The school district gives each parent in these type of classes (i.e. EH) a consent form that they must agree or disagree with physical restaint. Also the district sends teachers and paras to training to learn how to retrain.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
But why don't they tell the parents this is what they are using, They parent have the right to know and the right to choose if they want it used or not on their child!! thanks for the post
@ladygator (3468)
• United States
16 Dec 06
that is clearly not acceptable in this state at least. No teachers are allowed by law to restrain a child in anyway, unless it is needed by a child be out of control and then it must be a certain way that the teacher holds the child until they have gain control of theirself
• Canada
6 Jan 07
But do you know what is happening to your child if he/she miss behaves? My parents never knew and I was way to embarrest to tell them and thats how the teachers wanted it. thanks for the post
@Kylalynn (1773)
• South Africa
16 Dec 06
Body sock?!! A different word for a straight jacket. I cant see how this can be a calming tool. It's blatant abuse and also lazy. Whatever happened to hugs and tender words. If it was my child I would have had a fit. Feel quite emotional at the moment for the poor child/ren who have been subject to this. I thought this type of thing went out years and years ago.
• Canada
6 Jan 07
thanks for the post
@ryan444 (207)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Just no. Why would you put a 4 year old in that? That's just wrong.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
yes it is thanks for the post
@DRGNMSTR (40)
• United States
15 Dec 06
That teacher would have been beaten to the floor, they dont have the right, especially if the kid comes to school and talks about his punishment at home and they turn around and call it abuse, in my eyes thats assault, and they will get the like in return.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
The only reason I posted this is to make parents aware this is happening, but now parents make take this knoweldge and see what is happening in their school while they are not there. thanks for the post
@vmoore709 (1102)
• United States
15 Dec 06
There is no way I would allow someone to do that to my child. If the school does want to continue this method, they should be required to get permission from each parent.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
I am hearing a lot of that in this discussion and I 100% agree with it. Thanks for the post
• Australia
15 Dec 06
they did that to me at shenton college
• Canada
6 Jan 07
Was it a good or bad exerience??
• India
15 Dec 06
Touchy topic...proper comments cant be given
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Jan 07
thanks for comment