Tuesday, June 19, 2012
... that embraces a full inclusion model for all students, special needs or otherwise. By full inclusion I DO NOT mean that all kids are just in the same classroom and no longer segregated from each other. Inclusion isn't about geography. I mean an inclusion model in which every child is considered part of the community and the classroom. Each child is actively taught the value of diversity and differences. Each child is rewarded for inclusive behavior, and there is no tolerance of bullying by either the staff nor the other students. I seek a school where each staff member, from the principal to the lunch lady, recognizes the value and eagerly seeks the opportunity to embrace special needs children, children of color, of different ethnic groups, and every child who enters their doors regardless of needs or abilities. I seek a school where every student is expected to not only perform at an adequate level, but at their own optimal level. I seek a school where the teachers might look at my ASD child and say "how might I help get him to Harvard?" instead of setting the bar so fricken low because of a label. I seek a school where the staff are not afraid of my child and his needs, but rather are trained... or will seek knowledge about... his disability and how best to teach him. I seek a school which doesn't view him as a liability or an expense that has to be avoided. I seek a school in which he is viewed as having as much right as all the children to get a quality education, and there are people surrounding him to want that for him as much as I do. I seek a school that is willing to love him as he is and help him become the best he can be.
If you are that school, please get in touch with me ASAP. (Oh, and say hi to Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I assume you are in Fantasyland.)