Sweet reforms, Alabama

    Next Monday, an Alabama school board will decide the fate of Drew Faircloth and Alicia Brown, two elementary teachers who allegedly ridiculed a 10-year-old student who suffers from cerebral palsy.
    
    Melisha Salinas claims the two teachers not only mocked her son for drooling (something he has no control over), but barely spent any time trying to educate him.
    
     Acting on a tip from one of her son’s classmates, Salinas placed an audio recorder in her son’s wheelchair for three days. The 16 hours of recordings allegedly reveal multiple instances of the teachers verbally abusing her son, and only about 20 minutes of actual instruction time.
    
     The student “spent almost the entire day sitting in silence with no one speaking to him,” reports ABC News.
    
     Should the school board decide to fire Faircloth and Brown, the teachers would be able to appeal the decision.
    
     Now for the good part of the story: Due to recent reforms, the appeals process has been streamlined to two months. The previous system allowed appeals to drag on for two years or more, according to Craig Pouncey, chief of staff of the state Department of Education.
    
     Under Alabama’s new Students First Act, an appeal is determined by a retired judge, instead by an arbitrator, and limits the process to 60 days. This means means it’s easier and less expensive for Alabama schools to get rid of abusive teachers.
    
     This sad story might have a happy ending after all.
    
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