I read a recent article in the New York Times that talked about special schools for students. One would think these special schools would be a better place for children to learn and grow, but it turns out, in some instances they can be quite detrimental to a child’s well being. A boy named Alex and his family moved form Greece to the United States and the transition didn’t go very smoothly. Alex started skipping school, became disheartened, and was later sent to a special school called New Horizon where his family believed would be a better fit for him. As quoted from the article, “instead of getting help he was roughed up and taunted by staff members, who held him down and cut off his long hair when he arrived. Later, after he slit his wrists, he said he was disciplined but received no mental health counseling.” He never received help and was instead punished for his actions. Normally, if this were to occur, it would be consider a sign that the child needs help and should seek professional help our counseling immediately. For a young boy at such a tender and important age, to be treated so harshly is sad and should be looked at.
We are starting to see some of these schools shut their doors, but we are also seeing more doors open. Children are the future of our world and should be considered appropriately. Schools like New Horizon are not under the same laws that public schools follow. In fact, under federal law, there are no laws governing these types of schools. “States oversee the facilities variously as camps, boarding schools or residential treatment facilities, and state regulators often hesitate to step in because the programs exist in an ill-defined area of the law.” There seems to be a gray line between what is considered a school for education and what isn’t. There should be more concern with these “boarding school” because they aren’t nearly regulated as public schools.