Support Michael Cheeseman's return to Poly Prep
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Halfway through Michael's sophomore year, he experienced an awful accident leaving him quadriplegic. He has been in and out of hospitals for eight months and has endured procedure after procedure, so he has been unable to attend school since the accident. Michael has finally recovered enough to return to Poly Prep in the fall, a personal choice that is also supported by his doctors and family. However, there is debate amongst Poly’s administration regarding whether or not Michael should be allowed to rejoin his class next fall.
If Poly Prep denies Michael the right to return for his junior and senior years, they will be barring a bright, determined, and hard-working student from the right to learn in the environment in which he will feel best equipped to move forward. For the second half of the school year, Michael’s absence was felt by everyone in his school community. Being with his friends, talking to teachers that already know him, and navigating a familiar environment will all boost his confidence and optimism, helping him reach a better state of mind more quickly and naturally than if he had to adjust to a new community or was home schooled. At Poly, Michael will be surrounded by positive energy and amazing people. It is a community in which Michael has always felt safe and welcomed in, which is why it is so vital that he be allowed back.
Furthermore, if the Poly Prep administration decides that Michael should not be allowed back at school, it will contradict everything that the school stands for. Poly Prep is a private school and can therefore argue that limiting a students’ human rights is justified because it furthers their goals and activities as a private institution. However, the school’s mission statement vows to inspire the next generation of leaders to act with intelligence, imagination and above all, character. Showing that they are not willing to welcome back a student based solely off of a disability sets a precedent that will not be forgotten by the student body and one that does not exemplify the school’s beliefs. Not allowing Michael back both violates the school’s belief system and nullifies the legal argument which states that private schools can infringe upon a students rights, which are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If Poly doesn’t let Michael back in, it should change its mission statement.
Everyone at Poly is eager to welcome Michael back, and are ready to help him in any way that he needs. It may be difficult at times to accommodate someone with a disability, it is not a good enough reason to infringe upon his human rights and prevent him from being able to pursue what he wants to, with the people he loves, in the school that he knows. The decision is simple for the Poly Prep administration.
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