Saturday, October 27, 2012

From the House of Are You Kidding Me, California?

The story
My reactions:
1. Americans with Disabilities Act is the driving coercive factor that allows parents of special needs students to play bullies. This is a ridiculous case and the parents and adminstrators are clueless.
2. ADA is leading districts to implement a type of mainstreaming that is not conducive to a better education. Oh sure, everyone can shake hands because special needs kids are in the regular ed classes, but it's the same type of thinking that led to busing on the belief that just sitting next to a white kid would insure the academic success of minority students. While kids of all groups who can learn in a class should be there, with special needs students there are many medical, psychological and emotional factors involved. Case in point, what do you do when as a five foot six female teacher, a non-communcative six foot four male with autistic spectrum disorder starts raging around the room? What is more, who is at fault if and when another student gets hurt? What are you supposed to do when an emotionally unstable student begins cutting themselves because you can't drop everything and sit by them the entire period? These are the types of issues our teachers and our children are facing. Does that sounds like an environment where all students are valued or just one where special students are valued?
3. The real world, the future we are preparing students for, does not bend to the needs of the individual no matter how much liberals try to make it so. There will always be those things one person cannot eat, the stairs someone cannot climb, the books someone cannot read. Do we eliminate all of those things from life simply because of a few? Furthermore, does it make sense to have a student who cannot read or write or speak simply sitting in a Home Ec class or a Theater class just to fulfill goals that have little to do with the real world? And while we are at it, what of the unrealistic expectations that some special ed departments apply to their students? I had one poor child who was convinced by her special ed teachers that she was going to enter the very competitive world of animation. They put this on her exit papers from school! The child could not write, could not read and could not draw. Is this not cruel? Or is this an acceptable level of misdirection as advocated by our current regime?
4. Teachers are starting to show strain. I'm not an advocate of unions although I belong to an association. But these types of actions that leave teachers legally and professionally exposed at every turn, including the fear of physical attack, gives rise to unions. I am sure some will castigate me as "mean" for having these views, but I've seen too many students turned away from programs viewed as dumping grounds for special needs students. And I have seen too many average kids fall through the cracks while teachers scurry to fulfill every whim of multipaged IEP's. Something has to change. And soon.

No comments: