May of 1998, my daughter Brianna and I visited the campus
at Wooster High. The Vice Principal, Mr. B, took one look at us and
said, "Oh, special ed self-contained?" He was apparently talking about
Brianna as he was clearly not speaking to her.
replied, "No. High school student, fully included."
B showed us a classroom he indicated was "self-contained." He then
stated, "the students get off the bus here..." indicating a door,
"come through here," indicating a short hallway, "are in here for
the day," indicating the classroom, "and leave through here again
at the end of the day..." indicating the exit.
looked at me, horrified, and I asked, "You mean, they don't take classes
on the campus with the rest of the students?"
NO!" he said, leaning over to whisper in a loud stage voice, "They're
advised Mr. B, "We used to think black skin rubbed off too, but it
High maintains segregated classrooms, an exaggerated number of disabled
students suspended under the tardy policy, and compliance-oriented
education that robs students of autonomy and their natural, self-protective
is interested in the unfair segregation of students with disabilities.
She visits one of these "special" classes at lunch time in an attempt
to understand this discrimination and has established relationships
with students who are discriminated against in this manner.
she reported that two of the students in this classroom were no
longer allowed to eat french fries because the "teacher," WR, said
that to do so would cause heart attacks. It is not clear if WR is
a special ed teacher, aide, or simply someone who seeks to control
students with disabilities.
and I discussed how inappropriate it is for a teacher to make personal
choices for students. We discussed that it is a normal part of American
culture, especially adolescent culture, to eat french fries. We
could not think of a single person we know who does not eat french
also discussed the difference between the rights of students who
are typically developing as opposed to those who happen to have
disabilities. She could see that no one monitors/controls the diets
of students outside the segregated environment, while the students
in the segregated environment have their educational/social/and
behavioral lives dictated by the lifestyle of the teacher who happens
to be in charge.
March 21, 2000, Brianna advised me that the teacher with
the french fry issues, Ms. W R, works or helps in the lunchroom
and she refused to give Brianna french fries although it was her
choice of lunch food.
has attempted to avoid this teacher's line so that she may continue
to have autonomy in her lunch routine. Today, March 23, 2000, this
"teacher" threatened Brianna in the lunchroom, saying, "This is
the last time you are going to sneak french fries and a corn dog
by me again! Tomorrow you are having soup. I'll have soup with you."
Brianna has previously been locked in closets by "teachers" at both
a Washoe County elementary school site and a Washoe County Middle
School site, Brianna has a very real fear, based on solid experiential
knowledge, that she is in danger.
These are excerpts from the
Hammons' 504/ADA complaint on this subject. We think the
Department of Justice will get a good chuckle out of it. But
then again, as we know too well, they don't open their
complaint mail in the first place.
to this issue in our online
Attitude Catalog Store.
more of Mouth #59
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