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Videos of Greenville teacher dragging student by hair sparks rebirth of legislation

JACKSON, MISS– The videos of the Greenville High School teacher dragging a student with special needs by her hair has not only sparked outrage, but the reintroduction of legislation. 

Representative Steve Hopkins told News Mississippi that the videos were disgusting, in his opinion, and proved just another reason why the Safety for Students with Disabilities Act needs to be law.

“The video, that was just… it tore at my heartstrings,” said Rep. Hopkins. “We have to do something to make sure this never happens in Mississippi again.”

Hopkins said safeguards have to be put in place for the prevention of abuse at the hands of teachers.

“We’ve got to look at our training for our teachers who deal with students with disabilities on a daily basis,” said Rep. Hopkins. “And if it’s not up to par, we need to implement training.”

While teachers are required to have special training to work with students with special needs, Rep. Hopkins said the standards need to be set county-by-county and overseen by the state.

“I’m working with legislation to make sure there’s a plan in place from (Mississippi Department of Education) down,” Rep. Hopkins said.

The viral videos have shown the student being dragged across the floor by her hair, hit in the head with objects, and grabbed by the arm. Click here for the videos.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has also called for action after the release of the videos:

Research shows that students of color and students with disabilities are more likely to be subjected to excessive physical force in school for routine disciplinary problems,” said SPLC advocates. “In Mississippi, according to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection, Black students are 3.8 times as likely to receive one or more out of school suspensions as white students, and students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out of school suspensions as students without disabilities.

The SPLC also urged the district to take action in the matter. As ofTuesday, there were no charges filed against the teacher or arrests made.

 

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