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BTF SEEKS REMOVAL OF TWO TEENS

The Buffalo Teachers Federation, citing state laws that broaden disciplinary options for special education students, is seeking the permanent removal of two 13-year-olds from the school where they kicked and punched a teacher this week.

"Just as we believe that we have to have high expectations for what our students learn, we have to have high expectations for their behavior in the classroom," BTF President Philip Rumore said Wednesday.

"There seems to be a generation where people are making excuses for student behavior rather than teaching kids that they have to be responsible for their actions," he said. "As teachers, we're going to make sure they learn that lesson."

Beverly Piccillo, a special eduction teacher, suffered a fracture in her back, as well as head and abdominal injuries Monday when she tried to break up a fight between two students at the Lorraine Academy, 71 Lorraine Ave. She remained hospitalized Wednesday in fair condition.

Rumore said he was drafting a letter to school officials asking that the boys, who kicked and punched Ms. Piccillo, be permanently suspended from the school and be taught in an alternative setting.

Rita Eisenbeis, the school principal, said the boys were suspended pending a superintendent's hearing.

Rumore said changes in federal law within the last few years give school officials the authority to permanently remove special education students from a school where they cause serious disruption.

Prior to those changes, disciplinary options were far more limited. The federal goverment acted after many educators charged that they were denied the tools they needed to properly address unruly or violent behavior, and that special education students were not held to the same standard as general education students.

School officials could not be reached for comment.

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