There's Nothing Special about Special Ed.
The education of a child is the essence of a golden future.
Each child deserves a proper education in a respectful school environment.
It isn’t right that a child must be raised up in a school/class that they do not belong in because of having a disability.
Being disabled does not make one incompetent, but they are treated as such.
The blind are placed with the hearing impaired, the hyper active with the in-active, the violent with the humble, Adults with minors, the “learning disabled” with the intellectually advanced, etc.
Even the teachers have disabilities and many of them lack the skills to be Teachers. Yet here they are, teaching.
I've shut down this program in 1999.
But it was a mere wound to this beast.
It is still active in other Schools as well as the one I attended.
A strong investigation must take place within these classrooms.
There are teachers who have students play more than they learn and some even smoke in class (as depicted in the drawing).
The teachers feel that the student is too dumb to comprehend the wrongs of their (the Teachers) actions, while other teachers even play Learning Musical Cossets as a teaching recourse instead of doing their JOB as a Teacher.
There are students who become spoiled by the teachers (even babied), students who are allowed to pass even after failing, and students who fail simply because of being disliked by a teacher (for various reasons).
Be aware that during the visitation(s) by a Parent, Staff or higher authority the Teacher would place the illusion of a working environment prior to each visit to prevent themselves from ever getting caught.
Not all Teachers are “Overpriced Babysitters” but the majority are.
The IEP Diploma is a waste of a student’s years in School simply because it does not equate to the value of a real Diploma or a GED.
You’re talking about leaving a student to stay in School till the age of 21 (or higher), for a Diploma that can’t even get them a Job at Mac Donald’s.
The IEP is the equivalent of a contract “your path is set for you”, and just like a contract there's that fine print that is never easy to notice (when it comes to a parents eyes).
When students go to Collage with an IEP they still have to face being only acceptable to the few classes that take them in. And there is no justice for a student in that.
So I implore you for the sake of a Special Education Student (who could even be your child) to participate in this petition to have the Board of Education no longer allow this to accrue, for it damages the future of a great youth.
“With every disability comes a greater ability”
There is a shaded reality that I feel should be looked upon.
This petition was created to better the future of an under-looked youth.
Place yourself within the shoes of a Special Ed student for a moment.
You’ve been in special Ed for several years now just about reach yet another year in Junior High.
You’ve attended ESL (English as a Second Language) twice already but never needed it to begin with. Your last teacher was ok, but your new teacher sucks.
She has quite the attitude, and is not as into her Job as she should be.
Now pause: Did I mention that a few of the students are grown men?
it’s “learning time”.
Her methods of “teaching” are quite simple; playing a Hooked on Phonics Tape as she smokes a Cigarette. The annoying music plays as you try hard to gasp for Oxygen “A-E-I-O-U- ARE VOALS” repeating itself over and over again (in the most corny form of Rap music you have ever heard).
You say “excuse me, but aren’t you supposed to be teaching?” and she replies “I am” as she puffs her Newport with her feet stretched across her Desk. This (besides doing nothing) was the only thing she did as a Teacher and showed a sarcastic enjoyment towered it.
Your grades are decreasing, due to the lack of better teaching, but of course YOU are the blame.
You are forced to take many annoying test’s that determine whether or not one is disabled (or flat out stupid).
You do well on the test’s but one problem is quite obvious…You are visually impaired.
They convince your Parent to sign an agreement to have you placed in a School that can grant you a much better education because it moves at your paste and has students just like you.
Time flies like an open zipper.
It’s time to go to “The right School for you”.
Visualize the School environment, the “normal” students as they walk by, and teachers ready to teach as you walk your way to the main entrance.
You’re proud to be in School and are ready to learn…
You finally enter the School that was said to have students “just like you”, only, when you enter, you come face to face with a harsh reality…
The Students are not like you. Some have tremendous learning, behavioral, and emotional issues, your disability doesn’t match theirs, but you end up being placed in the same class room as them anyway.
Now you’re meeting the teachers, where many of them are also disabled, some even completely blind. You find ways to cope with it, then reality hits you even harder…
The Teacher’s really don’t like their job; some don’t even like you, and view you as another incompetent student that they can babysit for a little while.
They give you more “Free Time” than learning lessons, see you as too stupid to notice that they don’t even know how to teach properly, give you lessons from books that are decades old, have affairs with other teachers, use you to get them things (like Coffee) for them, are too soft on you (having you not take them seriously), allow you to pass when you obviously failed, and even haled you back a grade on the first day, because their little booklet shows an age and grade level chart that determines which age belongs in a certain grade (So now you have to start Junior High School all over again).
As you age you notice more and more that the teachers truly do lack an education of their own.
You’ve learned more on your own in two month’s than you’ve learned there in a year.
You even notice a sudden change in the Teachers behavior when the Principle, Dean, or higher authority walks by your class room, you are told quickly “Act like you’re working” by the teacher prior to their passing.
Now you’re about to “graduate” but need to visit the High School’s that you may “choose” to go to. You’re now face to face with multiple decisions, but your visits are quite limited to those that have been listed for you to visit. You’re faced with two horrible schools (where the worst can happen, even as you visit them) and are pushed by the “Teachers” to attend a better School where even MORE “Student’s like you” reside.
Of course you choose THAT School (along with every other Student) after only visiting the other two (while more were still left on the list). But who cares about the rest of the schools when all of your Teachers recommend this School by showing how “Cool’ it is by the freedom that’s given to you. No more lining up, babying Teacher’s, more independence…Yeah, who wouldn’t choose such a School? Oh and let’s not forget that all of your older classmates are in there as well.
You finally reach High School (H.S.).
For two days you experience what it is like to be a “normal” Special Ed student, free to walk about the hall ways, taking the train instead of a Short or Long Buss to go home, and can choose which classes are suitable enough for you along with the ones recommended.
Two days pass, history repeats itself, yet again.
Now you’re suddenly sent to a very small room with 12 students you’re very familiar with.
They call it “The Vision Program”.
Confusion strikes you all (who can see of course). You’re no longer allowed to experience H.S. like all of the “normal” students; instead you must go back to the old routine…
Once again you’re learning at a super slow paste.
You’re a Teen now so this harsh nightmare returning makes depression strike easily.
But hold on…Something’s new. There’s a Camera above you in the corner of the wall.
Were there any in your other school’s? Who knows?
“Oh and look”
Yet another blind teacher. “YEY”.
Besides Gym, 7, out of the 11, classes you attend are all in the same class room.
And Gym would even take place in the Cafeteria with puffy Sport balls so we “wouldn’t get hurt” (as if Lining up wasn’t embarrassing enough).
School becomes a joke to you, so you decide to joke back.
“You wanna treat me like I’m slow, then I’ll act like it”
Your sarcastic actions are becoming more and more annoying to them (though some do see your point), but it wasn’t enough to change anything.
So you tell your Family.
Your Step Father convinces your Mother that this is not the place for a student, especially when he found out the term they use for your class is “A Self Contained Classroom”.
Through strong efforts you make it out of the class…but you didn’t want to leave your friends in the pit so you tell them that nobody likes that class, and many agree when asked.
This shut the “class” DOWN.
You’re now free to live as a “normal” Special Ed Student, but something is not right…
Of all the time you’ve spent in that class you’ve missed out on so much.
Fells like a cloud of rain runs over your head (with thunder).
The School offers no Umbrella and you always get that “I told you so” look for The Vision Program.
You’re feeling dumb. It’s so hard to catch up.
“Am I really that slow kid everyone calls me?”
Your daily life and what you thought was school is looking quite meaningless to you.
You cut the class to many times and get kicked out for it.
You later fight your way back in because you found out that kicking out a student under the age of 18, for cutting class is illegal (plus Mom is not having it).
September 11th 2001 just so happened to be that day you tried to get back in, making efforts meaningless.
You later enter, still playing the catch up game, find out that your Diploma is equal to that of a piece of paper, and on top of that you’re not allowed to go to a real Collage because it’s not written in your I.E.P for you to go to a normal Collage.
“I.E.P? What the heck is that?” Confusion you strikes yet again by such an acronym that the Head of “The Vision Program” does not plan to ex[plain.
So your Dean makes a few options for you; Regence Exam (to get a regular Diploma) GED, and even Job training, unlike HER he actually CARES for you, but all are denied by the head Vision Teacher, and you are only left with one option (by her)…Stay in H.S. to the age of 25 and get an I.E.P. Diploma to go to a “College” that has more “students like you”.
This is the only Collage that accepts an IEP Diploma and it’s full of people who don’t even know their “ABC’s”
Your decision is quite obvious…DROP OUT.
This is the but one of the sad realities a student who was once so proud of being in school had come face to face with.
Sign the petition and put an End to this meaningless program called The I.E.P.
Stopping it could save a child’s Life by allowing them to plan for the future
instead of having their future planned for THEM