Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Colton's Cry: The Blue Box

Abuse in rural South Carolina school.

Behind The Blue Box

Last Friday, April 17Th, 2009, "The Blue Box" brought new meaning to abuse within a school system.

Today, I return to you asking for continued prayers. The local news media was to meet and interview the family at 11:30 AM to cover Colton's story. Instead, the media representative called Colton's mother and said, "The district office told us Colton's treatment was within the guidelines of his IEP and we will NOT be covering your story at this time."

Once again, this family is crushed and devastated. With more lies and an obvious cover-up, I come to you in outrage. The treatment Colton has endured is abusive and unhealthy. He deserves a quality education in a safe learning environment. This child will likely need counseling to grow beyond this event.

It is my desire to give voice to Colton. He deserves the best. He is a beautiful child who needs our help. Please help me give voice to Colton!

Thank you for your continued prayer support.

Andrea Bowling Perdue


Anonymous said...

Fellow Christians, I am having a hard time seeing what the problem is with this blue wall. If Colton is disrespectful to teachers and disruptive in class, I want him separated so he’s not interfering with MY child’s education and modeling behavior that I would not want my child to see. He clearly has had some behavior issues or else several teachers going back to first grade would not have given him time outs. Unless you buy into the mother’s apparent conspiracy theory—that this school is out to get her son and cover up the truth. I find it incredible to believe what this blog writer says, that “When my friend approached the teacher and principle they could not or would not give her an answer as to what he had done.” Really? Mom has NO idea why her son has been disciplined and the principal told her NOTHING? Such a ridiculous accusation really damages mom’s credibility. The one opportunity she had to meet with his teachers and find out what was going on, she didn’t show up (according to her Facebook). She also makes no mention of trying to reschedule this meeting. Seems like she would be jumping right on that after her migraine was over. I’m not sure that this separation technique is all that different from sending a child to his room. If he has attention problems, this may be just what he needs (see http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1263342/how_to_help_your_child_with_off_task.html?cat=4 ). The idea is to get him away from the other students, and the wall accomplishes that. If you don’t like the dirty desk, maybe you could offer to clean it or buy the teacher a new one. Personally, I’m praying for Colton, his parents, and the teacher whose job and livelihood this parent wants on a silver platter.

Andrea said...

You have a right to your opinion, however I view this form of punishment as abuse. This seperation technique is VERY different than sending a child to his room. It degrades and humilates a child in front of his peers. I thank you for your prayers for "all" involved. Each person certainly needs them.
Continuing to give voice to Colton,

RCUBEs said...


You are entitled to your opinion. I find it interesting how quickly you had assumed that the parents want something out of this. Sometimes, I wonder if you have kids because not unless you're in their shoes, no one, not you or none of us would ever understand what this family had to go through. This form of punishment is very detrimental to children whether they have behavioral problems or not.
As Christians, Jesus wants us to always handle things with love. Just wondering if you do have kids on your own because if it happened to you, I wonder how you would have handled this yourself. That's great if you're truly praying for this family because how you can you pray from your heart if you had doubts with the boy's parents in the first place? We can all give our differing opinions but only God knows the truth and not until the school give their side, then, how are we supposed to know the truth? This blog writer deserves the respect as this is her site so I think she is entitled to whatever she wants to write about whether we agree or not with her opinion. God bless.

Marsha said...

I will continue to pray.

I have been working on my own family emergency today so I did not seek out the information I told you about previously. I will do that Wednesday or by Thursday morning. Wednesday I have students all day so it may not be a good day for phone calls.

Denise said...

My prayers continue for dear Colton, and his family. This abuse must stop.

Peter Stone said...

When I attended teachers’ college twenty years ago, trainee teachers were being trained how to integrate children with mild disabilities into normal classrooms. This was found to be of benefit for the following reasons:
1. the children with mild disabilities had the opportunity of being integrated into normal society from the word go, rather than being shunted off into 'special' schools, where they would never learn the skills needed to mix into normal social circles/jobs upon leaving school.
2. it taught other children how to relate to those with disabilities rather than treating them as aberrations to be ignored/rejected/misunderstood,
3. it also removed the state's responsibility of trying to maintain more 'special' schools than were necessary.

It was the teachers' responsibility to integrate these children into their classes.

How can sticking a child with dyslexia, (and even "attention problems" such as ADHD, behind blue boxes for hours a day "be just what he needs." This is discrimination, or could demonstrate a teacher's lack of ability to handle the situation. Disorders such as ADHD are very common place today, (I am not suggesting Colton has this, by the way), but all the same, should all such children be stuck behind blue boxes so that they do not disrupt the other students? Surely, the teachers have learnt more effective methods of involving these children than ‘boxing them up?’

Putting such a child in solitary confinement, in front of all of his peers, will damage their self-esteem. It will change the way the other students treat and think of him. And it is not integrating the child into the classroom and society, but segregating them away from it.

Beth in NC said...

I'm not a teacher, nor have I had a child in a classroom environment yet, but surely there is a better way than this.

I pray God will give the parents wisdom how to help their son.

I'm surprised the news media didn't hop on this story.

Mary Moss said...

Prayer for Colton, for his family and for all those who genuinely have Colton's best interests at heart are being lifted around the world.

God is control and He will bring about the outcome Colton needs in this.


Terri Tiffany said...

It's hard to judge the situation unless we are the parents and we know the boy-- I would never do that. It sounds as though the parents are up against a brick wall and I will pray that they find the help they need!

Darlene said...

Praying for Colton...his family...his teachers...his school administration.

Saleslady371 said...

My prayer is that God will bring all things that are in the dark out into the light. He is a God of vindication. Jesus loved the children; He did not send them away and I believe our prayers will bring healing to Colton.

Thank you, Andrea, for updating us. We press on with our prayers not only for Colton, but his parents and all involved.

LisaShaw said...

I continue to pray for GOD ALMIGHTY'S DIVINE INTERVENTION for Colton and his parents. May truth come to light, hearts be changed and this situation turned in a manner that honors GOD and blesses Colton.

Michele Williams said...

This is terrible! I will pray about this situation...

Laurie said...

I read the updates! I will pray for answers for this precious family.
Love ya!

Cathy Bryant said...

Praying in Texas.

Laurie Ann said...

This is unreal. If Colton had been paddled on the behind the media would have jumped on it like all get out. Separation techniques work well, but when done conducively. I hope the mother can get the answers she's looking for and then go from there. If she knew why he was placed in this weird kind of time-out, it would certainly help! At the very least, I pray he is no longer in this classroom and either at home or in a different one. Perhaps a different teacher is needed, one who can be more patient with his needs. Sometimes it's a case of personality clashing. When my daughter (bonus daughter) was in 2nd grade, her teacher would call me every time she sat sideways in her desk. Sometimes she would call me when she sneezed. She did this for no other child! I had her moved out of that classroom and her grades went up considerably and she stopped running down the hall every night sick with dread of going to school the next morning. She flourished because Mrs. B. loved her. She disciplined her, too, but she didn't nag her to death.

At any rate, I am praying for this child and his emotional well-being. The punishment does seem to have hurt him emotionally based on what he said.

Jan said...

If the IEP is a confidential document, then why did the district office comment to the news media about it?

Andrea said...

Good question Jan. I am confident GOD is going to bring the truth about all of this to the surface. Thank GOD for all those who are praying.

Heart2Heart said...

I still feel strongly against this type of separation within the classroom to deal with any type of behavioral issue even within the confines of the classroom. To treat someone differently than you do others within the eyesight of his peers is doing more harm than good.

It's the reason, we as Christian parents or any parents for that matter, should deal with any behavior issues with our child who is acting out in a public place, privately! You don't want to harm or embarrass the child in any way.

The teacher could have handled this much differently if she removed the child from the classroom; had a private conference with the parents and principal; or transferred the child to a special needs program within the school.

Sometimes, I understand the frustrations teachers face in dealing with difficult students but isn't the goal to effectively deal with the child and bring him back to the classroom to join in with the rest of his peers? Am I missing something here?

Isolation in the classroom does nothing to increase the child's self esteem, even if acting out, bringing him into an environment of his peers and treating him differently, won't make him change or feel any differently other than his is "stupid" or whatever label you want to pin on it.

I am back off my soapbox now! Again, this is something I have personally dealt with, with my own daughter in a public school. She did not have any behavior issues. It was an overworked teacher who felt good behavior should be rewarded in the classroom as well as bad behavior should be dealt with publicly as well.

One final comment, in a work place, if you do something wrong, are you dealt with in front of your peers or are you removed from them and dealt with privately??

I believe that God would want us to stand up for things going on in the schools that most parents and others would not approve of if only more parents got involved.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

gail said...

Not sure what more I can add but I do know that all children need to be nurtured, loved and protected. If this little chap has behavioral problems then he needs help not humiliation.

Blessings Gail

Anonymous said...

I personally take offense to the incredible audacity of many posters to call for conviction upon the hearts of the involved parties. This form of punishment is in no way unbiblical ("spare the rod, spoil the child," anyone?... and there's not even any corporal punishment here!). If there is biblical evidence to support a claim that the involved persons are heaping judgment on their heads for what they are doing, by all means quote or reference the Scripture so that we can all see the error as a body of believers and seek forgiveness. As it is, asking God to punish people for something that does not go against his character is, for lack of kinder terms, idolatry and blasphemy.

If Colton was punished for behavioral problems, the school would not be allowed to reveal that information. Therefore, it is a redundant and moronical argument to say that unless the child was being punished because of a learning disability the school has no justification for not releasing the details.

Also, about the "appalling" conditions of the blue box, namely the desk with the tattered veneer top. If the only children that ever sit at that desk are children that are exhibiting exceptionally bad behavior that day, does it not go to reason that the shabby condition of the desk could have been CAUSED by those very children, not by the sadistic mind of a first-year teacher. Furthermore, even if the desk was already in bad shape, one could not fault the teacher for placing it in an area that would not be seen and optimistically would not be used very often. If you had a tattered but well-built chair, you may not throw it away but you certainly wouldn't put it in the middle of your living room!

The saddest part of this entire ordeal is the effect this is undoubtedly having on Colton. Now, instead of being quietly punished for the actions he committed in class, those who "care" about him are parading him around the internet, revealing embarassing regressive habits that I will refrain from mentioning, and now attempting to put a national spotlight on a child that should be worrying about learning his multiplication tables, not whether or not his actions will result in new behavior codes throughout a school district.

In closing, I urge the involved parties to please put this matter to rest (for goodness sakes, an attorney even told you this was frivolous). The initial concern in this matter was the well-being of Colton; judging by the lack of respect for Colton's privacy and the ever-increasing search for more publicity on this issue, it is obvious to me that those who are heading this charge have lost sight of that initial goal. Please do not make this young boy into a martyr for your cause... it never turns out well for the martyr.

Thank you for your time and your consideration,
Nate G

Debra said...

Precious Jesus,

You are the Father of Light and all Truth...please bring about a resolution for this young child and his family and the faculty of the school. For those of us whose hearts are breaking, please be our Balm of Gilead. For those who are angry, please give them Your peace that transcends all understanding. We ask it in Your Mighty Name. Amen.

Blessings to all.

care4kids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
care4kids said...

In Response To ~ Kidsmom65 and NateWGolfer

First: Perhaps you should read the mothers story. These parents firmly believe in discipline and do not spare the rod. This is clearly not the way God would have treated a child by singling them out to their peers a child which has problems with feeling this way already due to a learning disability. This is a form of mental and emotional abuse in itself.
Second: The school was required to notify these parents of disciplinary problems before, handing down punishments such as In school suspension and such clearly stated in school rules.
Third: this desk was not only unsanitary as the photos clearly show but, had profanity written on it that should not be on display in a teachers classroom. Then again, it is apparent this teacher lacked organizational skills so, cleanliness is lacking as well I am sure. Perhaps, if you took a look at the other photos you would see that all the other desk are not in that condition. Obviously this child was ruled unworthy of a clean desk. By your post it sounds like you know exactly what the desk looked like though, right down to the dirty tattered covering used. Ironic at the least! But, being a first hand expert as you seem to be perhaps you should mention the Blue Box/Wall was clearly displayed there at the front of the room for all of the child’s peers to see. Putting this child on display as if he were the freak show. So note it was in clear view for all to see. Not like YOU display one in YOUR living room! Segregation at the least!
Forth: Quietly punished? Quietly the parents were not informed of this form of punishment perhaps because, those that handed down this form of punishment new that it was against all, school guidelines. Everyone should also know that only after going public did the district contact these parents in All hopes to resolve this issue. As far as refraining from discussing regressive habits perhaps you should mention them seeing that you seem to be so, educated on this matter as only someone associated closely with this school district would be. I expect you are speaking of his regressed bed wetting that has taken place after 2 years of not being an issue but, has returned after being in this teachers care after the first nine weeks of school this year. As, has been well documented in doctors reports as well I am sure. Why should a child be embarrassed for a problem that is beyond their control? Especially one inflicted and brought on by the mistreatment of a teacher who is suppose to care, protect and want what is best for all their students. As far this child learning their multiplication facts well he has been in this school since, 4 K seems that something is lacking in some teaching skills at the school as well seeing that his grade in Math has dropped 20 points since the end of his first nine weeks as you can read in the mothers note. But, yet no conference was scheduled by his teachers but, yet this mother is being bashed for canceling due to a Migraine. Then again I would be angry as well if my child was called into the office with the principal and ALL 5th grade teachers 1 that wasn't even his. Which took place the day prior to the conference be grilled as to what information had been shared with mom and dad. Talk about intimidating circumstances. In my opinion, Sounds like they wanted to make sure they had answers for the questions that might be approached in the conference the following day. Talk about Intimidating and a Cover Up!
Fifth: We should Applaud these parents for standing up for their son and all the other children to come that will be abused if this teacher or others that may be like her continue to teach in any school. You may be very articulate it your wording but, it sounds like you may be an "ADD" sufferer yourself. Seeing that if you would have read this writers blog’s you would have seen it states, the lawyer told them he no longer handles this type case. Not, that they were told this was frivolous case. Only that he referred them to another lawyer who would jump at this type of case seeing that this what types of cases they specialize in. The initial concern in this matter WAS NOT the well-being of this child as you proclaim! If so, as the assistant super intend. said, him self but, later denied It never should have taken place! Wouldn't it be ironic at hand if a recording of that conversation surfaced. Perhaps, everyone would get the answers they are searching for and so, deserving of. Then if the parties in question are found guilty of such actions their jobs should be on a SILVER PLATTER at best! Thank you for your Time and Consideration and I will continue to pray for this family and you as well that you will no the truth soon as well. Until then God Bless!