Help Raise Awareness for a Growing Crisis for Kids

Help Raise Awareness for a Growing Crisis for Kids

From Shen Parents 504s/IEPs

To raise awareness for a growing crisis - how kids w/ behavioral challenges are often mistreated - we will host a screening of the award winning film, "The Kids We Lose," & Skype w/ international expert Dr. Ross Greene.

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This is a grassroots effort to fund a screening in our community of the documentary, The Kids We Lose, followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Ross Greene, an international expert in behavioral issues in children and author of multiple books, including the Explosive Child, Lost at School and Raising Human Beings.

We are screening this documentary for the purpose of raising awareness of the growing crisis of behavioral issues in schools, the fact that well-intentioned actions that are taken to manage such issues often make matters worse, the cost of society when we take the wrong actions with these kids, and the desperate need for change.

We have invited Dr. Ross Greene to speak to our attendees immediately after the screening of the Kids We Lose to provide the opportunity for questions and a beginning to our community's discussion of what we can all do to address this crisis.

We are considering our community to be a multi-county area around us and intend to include as attendees as many people who work with children with behavioral problems in as many different types of settings as possible, including schools, juvenile justice facilities, residential treatment centers, etc. We are also located in our state's capitol and we will do everything possible to try to get some state level policymakers and other policymakers to attend our program.

Please help us raise this modest amount of money to fund all aspects of our program.

Please help us make an impact in our community to raise awareness of these issues, spark change in the way these kids are treated, and improve the environments of schools and other settings where children with behavior challenges can be found.

These monies will fund the cost for Dr. Ross Greene to attend by Skype. Any additional funds raised will first cover refreshments for 300 people (our maximum attendance level) and anything above that cost will be donated by us to Dr. Ross Greene's organization, Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance) to support efforts by his organization to make a difference for these Kids We Lose.

Shen Parents with Children with 504s/IEPs is a grassroots effort led by parents in our community to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by our children, to train parents to be better advocates for their children, and to provide support for one another, among other missives. This program is an important effort in raising awareness for the behavioral difficulties that can arise for many of our children as a result of developmental delays in the skills necessary for our children to do better.  However, we are engaging in this campaign on a multiple county basis to impact as many children as possible and to spread awareness in as many community systems that work with children as possible. Any change in any surrounding community stands to benefit all of us.

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From the Kids We Lose Website, here is some text that summarizes the issues address in the documentary:

In The Kids We Lose, we hear the kids describing how they’ve been manhandled (literally and figuratively) by the system; we also hear the self-blame and hopelessness that springs from being misunderstood and mistreated. We hear the parents describe how they have been inaccurately characterized as passive, permissive, inept disciplinarians, and we hear their isolation and desperation in trying to find the right help. We hear from classroom teachers who have received minimal training on understanding and helping kids with behavioral challenges but who are nonetheless on the hook for making things work in overcrowded classrooms that include many kids with special needs. We hear from school administrators who feel tremendous pressure — from school staff and the parents of well-behaved students — to “send a strong message” and intervene in ways that are decisive, punitive, and counterproductive. And we hear from staff in therapeutic facilities, who describe what it’s like to listen to the wailing of kids who are being restrained (pinned to the ground by 2-4 adults) and placed in locked-door seclusion or solitary confinement, but who sometimes justify the use of these procedures out of concern for their own safety.

Using interviews filmed across North America, the film documents the punitive, counterproductive, misguided, inhumane interventions so frequently applied to kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. In American public schools alone, annually, these kids are on the receiving end of 5.4 million in- and out-of-school suspensions, dozens of millions of detentions, hundreds of thousands of school paddlings, hundreds of thousands of restraints and seclusions, and tens of thousands of school arrests. The Kids We Lose also shows how the misperception, mistreatment, and demonization of these kids begins at very early ages — the astronomical rates of suspensions of kids in preschool and kindergarten tell us it’s so — and simply intensifies as kids grow older and their difficulties grow worse.

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