The trouble with special education
Mouth's education on the subject of special ed began
when a teenaged boy who has dropped out of high school
told us what you read below. His label is "retarded" but
his insight wins him our nomination to be the next U.S.
Secretary of Education.
What I learned
by Joshua F.
Here's what I
doesn't want to be the class any more.
want to go back and learn anything. They don't want me or
my dad and my mom telling them what they are supposed to
want to learn anything. They are there to teach, to be
the teacher, to be up in front of the class.
Cartoon showing a big stairway with a little room tucked
under it marked Special Education. The room is lit by a bare light bulb.
A teacher and a student peer out at us.
and there's other stuff
in the issue too, of course...
Cartoon showing a magnificent Mercedes driven by a
satisfied gent. On the side of the car is a logo that reads Doctors
you can read this, you probably are not the victim of special ed. But
more than six million American children are, and 54 percent of that number
(help me, calculator!) are segregated in "special" classes where reading
is not on the menu.
again, a multi-billion-dollar system has been set up to educate special
people like you.
special ed actually worked? Every parent in town would be begging, borrowing
and stealing to get their kids into it.
take on Special Ed, our issue #59, is jammed with horror stories and how-tos
on avoiding horror stories.
of this online sample:
- Let's start with what Mouth was stupid enough
to figure out last. Special education is all about -- no kidding! --
Gold in Them There Labels by a variety
of experts is a virtual treasure map.
Wooster High French Fry Conspiracy
by Deidre Hammon is excerpted from her ADA complaint against the school
her daughter attends. I'll bet every judge wishes the complaints he
reads are as funny as this one.
of a Dad Up Against the Four 'D's
by Tom Bradley enumerates the usual three 'D's -- Denying services,
Delaying due process, Deceiving Parents and children -- and adds another.
In rural Williford Arkansas, the fourth D is Death threats.
is Where my Friends Are by Eleanor
Bailey, is a fourth-grader's true story of how inclusion works for her.
- Her father, Michael Bailey, writes about what
it takes to keep her in A
Placement in a Regular Class
- There's some very good news that didn't
quite make it into the Mouth: 53,576 institutionalized Missourians
will have a chance to choose where they want to live! Like home, for
instance. $625 million now spent in nursing homes, group homes, loony
bins and other forms of handicaptivity must now follow our people into
the community. Read
our Stop the Presses update.
from the Mad Summit tells you what
got decided when 30 certifiable madmen and -women got together at the
Highlander Center to make a plan. Then Fred Fay of Justice for All updated
that story when some of those certifiables -- plus Justin Dart, Jr.
-- met with the Gore campaign staff on May 2.
#59 also features an article on the findings, and another one on the
recommendations, of the National Council on Disability's ballsy report,
"Back to School on Civil Rights."
Lesner-Buxton has his own brilliant recommendations for fixing the special
ed system -- and he knows whereof he speaks because he's still at its
mercy. The editor writes about her cousin Daniel West in southern Indiana
who is being denied a diploma after spending high school on the honor
roll. Why? Because he's so special.
"Advice from the Formerly Special" by self-advocates of Oregon, and Jennifer
Burnett's SAYS interview with Velveta
Howell of the HHS Office of Civil Rights. Not
to mention our own serious recommendations on how to fix special ed, the
usual unusual news, letters and resources, and pages of Scott Chambers'
best and most brilliant cartoons ever. For real.
settle for a stingy sample when you can have the whole jumpin' issue in
get your copy, send $5 to Mouth, PO Box 558, Topeka, Kansas
66601-0558 and specify #59. Or buy it from our online Attitude
also possible to arrange for your subscription
Scott Chambers, cartoonist
and visionary, drew the classics above. He can be reached
via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mouth bought the rights to use these cartoons first, but
Scott holds the copyright to them. For reprint permissions,
address him directly.
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