Letter: Don’t forget to love those pupils

October 9, 2013 

It was with great interest that I read your lead story Sunday about the use of Safe Rooms at Mt. Iliamna Elementary. I am now retired, but for the past 17 years have worked with the Whaley-Mt. Iliamna (emotionally disturbed) student population. 

It has been my privilege to work with some of the most kind and caring staff to be found within the Anchorage School District, including those times when restraint, seclusion, or both, was necessary. When Ron Cowan (Disability Law Center) stated, “When you’re in a seclusion room you’re not getting educated,” it occurred to me that when a student was spitting his own blood at me, no education was taking place. Further, no education was occurring when I was being kicked in the head, stabbed with a pencil, bit on the arm, or punched in the stomach and face.

Any discussion involving these students must include the love we staff members have for them, despite everything, and the need for the necessary measures to keep them safe.

— Marguerite Iverson


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