Some Civil Rights Please

If any minority ethnic group in the United States suffered the injustice and discrimination that school districts routinely inflict upon children with special needs who sometimes literally don't have a voice to defend themselves, the outcry at large and especially in the media would probably become so great as to serve as some automatic deterrent and prompt immediate investigations.  But since the developmentally disabled are a minority that are generally looked upon as somewhat less than human in our society, few people care generally speaking, except their parents or loved ones, what several public school districts get away with in this uncivil nation of ours.

One such parent of special needs children (okay, my spouse) has a blog, Becoming a Special Needs Advocate, that spotlights strategies and resources for the parent with special needs students facing school district discrimination, and looking to better advocate for them. She recently posted something on the topic I wanted to share, being that it's apropos of MLK day and close to my heart.

Civil Rights


  1. Here, here!

    Sounds like an awful situation, but one that is also all too common.

  2. And, good luck on legal matters.

  3. Thanks, Sam! I appreciate that more than you can know.

    We've got quite the document to deliver. It's been months in the making. Perhaps someday we'll have the freedom to make it public ....

  4. I just read your wife's post, and it really pissed me off. How could anyone treat a child like that?

    Being fairly clueless about SPED, I asked my wife, who happens to be the PTA president for my daughter's elementary school, how she thought our school fared in that area. She informed me that there were quite a few special needs students there, mainly because the school was committed to trying to address their needs and did such a good that many parents transferred their kids there just for that reason. But why can't all schools be like that?!

    It breaks my heart hearing what your daughter has had to endure. I hope you and your wife are successful, so other children don't have to go through the same hardships.

  5. Yeah it's pretty maddening, to put it mildly, Bubba. I think its interesting what my wife mentioned, in that that's an important detail that we can't use presently in our case because statute of limitations has passed, and the teacher who witnessed the incident said anyway that she wouldn't have been willing to testify for fear of District reprisal. But ... do we have enough ammunition that hasn't exceeded SOL to make a strong case? I think so, but we'll see. If anything, once our District gets wind of it, it should in the least provide us with some leverage in future negotiations regarding placement and services, as they'll have been put on even more notice that we're a family they really don't want to keep fucking with.

    I could talk forever on this complicated subject. It's different in every district; I'm happy to hear your wife is at a school that treats the developmentally disabled more humanely than most; I've refrained from ranting here on the blog about it until now mostly because I really do hate politics and bureaucracies and haven't wanted to turn this blog in that kind of pointed direction, but the timing with MLK day was too just too irresistible to let go by without saying something.

  6. Your child's situation is troubling on so many levels. Your school administration sounds as though it has completely abdicated its responsibility. A teacher who fears district reprisals for reporting abuse? Get 'em, get 'em all.

  7. my sentiments exactly, Thea! I wish I could adequately explain such a complicated situation and why we don't just up and move .... my wife wants to write a book about it in the hopes it will help other parents who find themselves in similar straits get out of the quagmire quicker, so someday maybe we will get the story out ....

  8. Thank you for posting and sharing something so personal. Unbelievable. I'm so sorry.


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