I am the mother of 4 special needs children with a variety of disabilities which impact them both medically and educationally. As a parent of children requiring special education and Individualized Education Plans to ensure that they learn and grow to become the most productive members of society that they can. David Weitzel in his publication titled "A Problematic philosophy of "Full Inclusion"
Its effects on policy and practice" seeks to undermine the very foundation of special education policy and law which guarantees that my children, just like any other child throughout the United States, have a right to be educated in a setting which guarantees them fair access to public education with other children that are their age. His argument seeks to take our children's health and well-being and turn it into an issue of dollars and cents. His stated opinions can be found in his paper at: http://www.newfoundations.com/PracEthics/Weitzel.html .
These opinions are dangerous to any child in special education in his district and show a prejudice that should not be fostered by any school administrator. It is reckless and irresponsible at best to employ someone with these stated beliefs in a position of such power as an Elementary School Principal, much less as an Assistant Superintendant. Administrators play a very important role in ensuring that federal law, known as "IDEA", is implimented fairly to ensure that all children receive a fair and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. This means that all students should have access to the same education in core subjects and electives no matter what their disability, just as they do no matter what their race, religion, gender, or creed is, and that they should be educated in the setting closest to a regular general education classroom.
Mr. Weitzel's paper states “Special education has become a drain on human and financial resources in districts across our country. In large part because the philosophy of full inclusion is out of control and is not in the best interest of all special education students. Inclusion has become an entitlement for most parents of special needs students. The combination of less than adequate funding of IDEA, a costly federal mandate, and the unfair treatment of both general and special education students will further harm the education of all students."
At best, Mr. Weitzel's paper is a gross misinterpretation of IDEA, and at worst it shows a base discrimination against children with disabilities that has unfairly biased him in any special education meeting, IEP, due process, or intervention that may have taken place under his guidance or with his participation. It is an afront to all that we as parents of special needs children work for to improve our children's quality of life and ensure their fair education, and an insult to the employees, therapists, and teachers that work within this school system to ensure that our children receive the help that they need. His words show a complete lack of respect for individuals living with disabilities and all that they work towards and it is my hope that the Superintendant of Schools and Central Bucks School Board of Jamison, PA will read this petition and the signatures of those who have signed and take immediate corrective action against David Weitzel, up to and including his immediate dismissal, and will review the IEPs, due process, and behavioral intervention meeting records that he has been involved in to ensure that every special education student he has been involved with has been treated ina fair manner as guaranteed to them under IDEA.