Is It Acceptable That No Sprinklers Were Required in Long Island Elementary Schools Destroyed By Fire?

Last month there were two fires in Long Island schools. Just days before there was a fire in Riverhead Charter School, South Bay Elementary School in West Babylon was destroyed by fire, forcing the relocation of its classes to a nearby church.

The school was built in the early 1950s. Fire sprinklers were not required at that time. Since then, updated building codes in New York and other states require sprinklers in school spaces of more than 20,000 square feet. But sprinklers are not required in schools built before the code was changed. In addition, the 20,000 square foot rule … Read the rest

Federal Government Studying Harm Restraints and Seclusion in Schools and School Buses Cause Children and Teens

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report this past spring, concerned about children’s’ safety and welfare, highlighted allegations of abuse and the potentially deadly consequences of using certain forms of behavior management, often times for special education students.

Although GAO could not determine whether allegations were widespread, GAO did find hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death related to the use of these methods on school children during the past two decades. Examples of these cases include a 7-year-old reportedly dying after being held face down for hours by school staff, 5-year-olds allegedly being tied to chairs with bungee cords … Read the rest

Schoolchildren Face Traffic Dangers When School Lets Out

A recent article by Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times discusses the dangers middle school students face when they become pedestrians when the school bell rings. The number of serious traffic incidents involving schoolchildren across the 900 Los Angeles public schools has significantly increased, particularly around middle schools. From January to November 2008, there were 153 traffic-related injuries around schools, which Los Angeles public school officials said was much higher than five years ago. Last year, two eighth-grade girls in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, were hit by vehicles near school, and one girl was left partly … Read the rest