Tuesday, December 10, 2002

More Special-Ed Hell

Special education teacher Margaret Ann Davis used a small paintbrush to apply Tabasco sauce diluted with water on the hands of an 11-year-old deaf and mute student who constantly sucked her hands. The Tabasco sauce was washed off after about five minutes.

The report said a teacher's aide reported the incident the next morning to the principal, who called police. Casper told police she had informed the student's mother of the incident, and that the mother had asked for assurance that it would not happen again.

Kim at Number 2 Pencil and others have linked to this piece by a special education teacher who describes the blackhole of special education.

One of the most shocking aspects of special education is that school officials continue to pressure parents into signing their kids over to the special education system. After my December Reason special education feature, I had several parents and special education teachers write about their experiences with aggressive special education "recruiters."

When we moved to Palo Alto, my oldest attended 5th grade at Briones [Elementary School]. The very nice teacher wanted to get him extra help. I was at first for it, thinking he would get tutored. But she wanted him in the special ed program! That didn't make any sense to me because he never had a problem at Faria [Elementary School] in Cupertino (the top elementary school in CA!) and tested always at the top. So I started looking into books on gifted children and told the Briones teacher I thought the problem was he was bored! She agreed and let it go. Later, I learned this same experience happened to a friend of mine -- her son transferred into 4th grade and Briones also tried to get him into special ed. She even went through the evaluation process and decided it didn't apply to her son. He is now a sophomore at Stanford! This is education gone amok.

I am a speech pathologist who worked for 25 years in public schools here in west central Florida. It is just as you describe it. I left special ed in disgust over the lunacy of it all. We had to pack the kids in to generate funds for our salary. It was an unwritten law we all followed.

The growth of special education is despicable, especially in light of what happens to many kids once they get labeled.

No comments: