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Carol Wilson

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Carol Wilson last won the day on May 13

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  1. My name is Carol Wilson, and I am a special education teacher deeply concerned about recent trends in educational placement practices for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD). I am reaching out to advocates to bring attention to a critical issue affecting the well-being and rights of students with EBD nationwide. In recent years, there has been a concerning trend observed across many school districts: the placement of students with EBD in self-contained classrooms designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities without following proper due process procedures. This practice not only violates the rights of these students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) but also places them at significant risk academically, socially, emotionally, and even physically. Placing students with EBD in self-contained classes without holding a manifestation determination review (MDR) and without considering the individualized needs of these students is a gross violation of their rights. It denies them access to the least restrictive environment and fails to provide the necessary supports and services outlined in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Furthermore, it can have detrimental effects on their academic progress, social interactions, emotional well-being, and physical safety, as well as that of the students appropriately placed in these settings. Moreover, this practice also takes a toll on educators. Special education teachers who are tasked with managing classrooms with students who have significant cognitive disabilities face immense challenges when students with EBD are placed in these settings without appropriate support or training. The increased behavioral demands and potential for physical aggression or violence put educators at risk of burnout, injury, and compromised mental health. As advocates for both students with disabilities and educators, it is imperative that we take action to address this pressing issue. I am calling for a national campaign to raise awareness about the inappropriate placement of students with EBD in self-contained classrooms and to advocate for the rights and well-being of these students and educators. I urge advocates to join this campaign and mobilize its resources to: Advocate for the enforcement of proper due process procedures, including the holding of MDRs, before any decision is made to place a student with EBD in a self-contained classroom. Provide training and support for educators working with students with EBD to ensure they have the necessary skills and resources to meet the diverse needs of their students. Advocate for the implementation of evidence-based practices and interventions to support the inclusion and success of students with EBD in general education settings whenever possible. Call for increased funding and resources for special education programs to ensure that students with EBD receive the individualized support and services they need to thrive. Additionally, I urge advocates to encourage its members and stakeholders to flood the Office for Civil Rights with reports of these violations of students' rights. By bringing attention to these issues at the federal level, we can work towards systemic change and ensure that all students receive the quality education and support they deserve. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of students with EBD and ensure that they are provided with the opportunities and supports they need to succeed. Thank you for your attention to this critical issue, and I look forward to collaborating with you on this important campaign. Sincerely, Carol Wilson, Ph. D.
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