Freedom Friday: Feds take aim at sheltered workshops
April 17th, 2015
April 14, 2015
The Obama administration is proposing new regulations that would sharply limit people with disabilities from entering employment situations where they earn less than minimum wage.
The U.S. Department of Education is unveiling a draft rule this week designed to encourage competitive employment for most people with disabilities, largely through modifications to the Vocational Rehabilitation program.
The proposal comes less than a year after the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was signed into law mandating the changes.
With the rule, the administration is placing a heightened emphasis on competitive integrated employment. Unpaid work would no longer qualify as a potential employment outcome in Vocational Rehabilitation plans and “economic self-sufficiency” must be among the criteria considered in helping individuals with disabilities establish goals.
“Individuals with disabilities, with appropriate supports and services, are able to achieve the same kinds of competitive integrated employment as non-disabled individuals,” the rule indicates.
States and schools would be barred from establishing agreements with any entity to employ people with disabilities at less than minimum wage under the proposal.
What’s more, those with disabilities age 24 and younger would be prohibited from working for subminimum wage unless they first receive pre-employment transition services at school and are provided “meaningful opportunities” to achieve competitive integrated employment. Meanwhile, anyone who is employed for less than minimum wage must regularly receive career-counseling services.
The rule would also require the Vocational Rehabilitation program to increase the share of funding set aside for helping people with the most significant disabilities participate in supported employment and would allow such services to be provided for up to four years.
Dedicated funding must also be earmarked under the plan to provide job exploration and similar services to individuals with disabilities in the early stages of transition.
“With the addition of these early pre-employment transition services, the VR program can be characterized as providing a continuum of VR services, especially for students and youth with disabilities,” the rule states.
The proposed rule is expected to be published Thursday in the Federal Register and will be open for public comment for 60 days.
What’s Wrong Wednesday: Autistic 6th Grader assaulted by school cop, now he is a convicted felon
April 15th, 2015
By Matt Agorist, April 13, 2015
Lynchburg, VA — Nothing wreaks of the police state like police officers assaulting and arresting children at school; especially an 11-year-old boy with autism.
Meet Kayleb Moon-Robinson, a 6th grader at Linkhorne Middle School, whose life has been forever changed thanks to the American police state.
Kayleb’s problems began one day as a teacher was yelling at him for misbehaving. In a fit of anger, Kaleb kicked a trashcan; not a teacher, not another student, a trashcan.
When the school police officer witnessed Kaleb’s attack on the trashcan, instead of getting detention or losing his recess break, Kaleb was arrested. He was then charged with disorderly conduct in juvenile court.
Disturbingly enough, none of the teachers or school officials saw a problem with the use of law enforcement to remedy middle school discipline problems.
Not only did they see nothing wrong with it, but school officials actually used this armed agent of the state as their personal attack dog on this 11-year-old autistic boy.
After the initial charge of disorderly conduct, life for this little boy, who says he loves science, would get worse, much worse.
Only a few weeks later, Kaleb would be accused of breaking another rule. Kaleb, who was treated differently than all of the other students, was forced to remain in the classroom until all of the other students left at the end of each period.
In November, Kaleb left the classroom as the other students left, instead of waiting. The principle then sicked his state-sponsored attack dog on this boy. The school cop approached Kaleb, who might weigh 80 pounds, as if her were a 250 pound hardened criminal.
“He grabbed me and tried to take me to the office,” Kayleb told the Center for Public Integrity. “I started pushing him away. He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.”
The incident was witnessed by school officials, and none of them spoke up or tried to stop it.
The Center for Public Integrity reports:
Stacey Doss, Kayleb’s mother and the daughter of a police officer herself, was outraged. Educators stood by, she said, while the cop took her son in handcuffs to juvenile court. The officer filed a second misdemeanor disorderly conduct complaint. And he also submitted another charge, a very grown-up charge for a very small boy: felony assault on a police officer. That charge was filed, Doss said the officer told her, because Kayleb “fought back.”
“I thought in my mind — Kayleb is 11,” Doss said. “He is autistic. He doesn’t fully understand how to differentiate the roles of certain people.”
However, the fact that this young boy with autism hadn’t really done anything wrong, did not stop a Lynchburg juvenile court judge from finding Kaleb guilty.
Earlier this month Kaleb was convicted of felony assault on a police officer. At 11, this young boy’s life has been permanently altered. He will now carry a felony conviction around with him for the rest of his life.
As tragic as Kaleb’s story sounds, it is sadly not an isolated one. Young autistic children often find themselves on the receiving end of police state violence while attending public school.
In January, Colton Granito, an 8-year-old boy with autism, threw a tantrum during class. Instead of following the boy’s IEP plan, police were called. Colton was handcuffed, transported to jail, and forced to sit in a cell for hours wearing a straight jacket. He was subsequently charged with assault and sentenced to probation.
The photo below is of a 10-year-old child handcuffed, laid out on the back of a police cruiser. The boy’s name is Ryan and he has autism. He misbehaved at school and was also arrested and treated like a criminal.
In September of last year, we reported on body cam footage showing a 9-year-old special needs boy handcuffed as his father pleaded with the officer to release him.
That same month, a highly disturbing video of cops manhandling a 13-year-old autistic child as he screamed for help emerged on Facebook.
And these cases contain only autistic children. If you truly want a glimpse into the horrid effects of the police state on all school children, take a scroll through our archives, at this link.
“The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.” -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Being dependent upon the state to solve one’s problems is a de facto dependency upon violence.
Until people wake up to the reality of relying on a system of violence to maintain “order,” we can expect this problem to get worse.