May 28, 2008

Progress? Guess again.

Two stories in the news lately that are special needs related. The first one follows:

The Chinese have been trying to appear sensitive to the western world for the summer games, they dropped the ball on this one. I'd think they could've hired someone in disability advocacy from another country to do a better job than this:
Quoting from the piece in the New Zealand Herald, "Disabled people can be unsocial, stubborn, controlling, defensive and have a strong sense of inferiority, says an official Beijing Olympics guide."

Oh that's just great, there is more though!

"The manual for Olympic volunteers in Beijing is peppered with patronizing comments, noting for example that physically disabled people are "often" mentally healthy."

And here is my favorite:

"Volunteers at the Olympics and Para Olympics are instructed not to call paralympians or disabled spectators "crippled" or "lame", even if they are "just joking"."

I guess I shouldn't expect anything better from the fine folks who brought you only one baby and better hope it's a boy, huh?

And the second story, this one from the more passionate, caring, and understanding US of A:
Mom says special needs child voted out of classroom

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL -- A Port St. Lucie mother says her five-year-old son with special needs was voted out of his classroom by his peers at the behest of the teacher, who has since been reassigned.

"(She) took him and stood him in front of his classmates this week, asked every single child to tell Alex why we don't like him... in his words, tell Alex why we hate him," she explains.

After having each child ridicule the boy, she says the teacher continued belittling him.

"Then they had a vote on if he deserved to stay in the class or not," says Barton.

Like a twisted reality show, Barton says in a 14-2 vote, his classmates voted the five-year-old out of the classroom.

There are lots of teachers and former teachers out here blogging, can anyone explain to me how this could possible take place? Sounds like somebody watches too much reality TV...

Really, I am pretty sick about this. I wonder why I even keep trying to advocate for my son with attitudes like this still around.


  1. You gotta be sh*ttin' me.

  2. as a former teacher, I can say that this person was either high as a kite on crack or committing a form of work-related suicide or very possibly both. I'd like to think it's some sort of very cruel, twisted tale that was blown completely out of proportion for the sake of media spin, but I've frankly got my doubts.

    I'm going to stomp downstairs and smoke a clove cigaratte in a fume of anger now...

  3. OMG that poor does happen son...not a special needs child ( or young adult now) had his 3rd grade teacher do the same thing....she had my son stand at the front of the room while all of his classmates had to say why they did not like son spent 1/3 of the 3rd grade in the hall....I never knew until my son told me why he always packed his pockets full of GI joes and matchbox he could have something to play with in the hallway...he counted all the bricks too...the principal was sooooo very supportive....
    he said not much could be done the teacher had tenure and was retiring at the end of the year wonder my son and his firends plotted her death

  4. Truly, this shit makes me physically ill. Here in the sticks, the director of a charter school was recently ousted by the board of education because of an incident where a child with a severe peanut allergy was *almost* exposed to some mulch with peanut shells in it. The parents were outraged at the director's lack of concern over this child and there was a rumor that said director called the child's mother a "psycho". The parents demanded she be immediately escorted from her job. As the mother of a child with a severe food allergy, I applaud them. If we're not advocates for our children, who is?

  5. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Keep advocating because I'm hoping that these assholes are the minority!!!

  6. Lovely. Really. WTH?

  7. Anonymous6:59 PM

    My, how progressive of China.

  8. Anonymous6:45 AM

    as an education major, I am horrified. In ninth grade, I was in boarding school with a teacher who once put a girl on a stool in the middle of the room so she could see how "real students learned". She was not oficially handicapped, but she was slow, possible mildly retarded. I've never forgotten the way she treated that girl. The teacher was constantly torturing her.

  9. Thank you all for confirming what I thought, as a special needs parent, I try not to be overly sensitive to these issues.

  10. WTF?? That teacher has to be high on something. I'm not a sue happy person but I wouold be suing for mental anguish to pay for that poor kid's therapy years down the line when they have anti-social and anxiety disorders. Poor kid, makes me want to find him and give him a hug.
    Capt' will notice that it says the teacher has been firing yet.

  11. I heard about the second story. Perhaps I'm skeptical, but part of me just says we're only hearing part of the story because it sounds too perfectly evil to be true. But stranger things have happened I guess.

  12. the story about the little boy sickened me to no end. I read that yesterday and wanted to go kill someone. And they came back with "that's not abuse".