Sunday, April 1, 2012

Really? Is it that hard to include disabled learners?

OK. I'm about to discuss a topic that I have never ventured into, and only know about from a friend of mine who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. I should point out that he has, using his own words, "triumphed over the disease." He is a lesser-known advocate for the disabled, and has opened my eyes to the mistreatment of many people with disabilities.

The other day my friend told me a story that broke my heart. It was a story about a 12-year old boy who is in a wheelchair because of Cerebral Palsy. After watching an episode of "Glee" he decided to join the chorus and try to "be like the other kids." Throughout the year he participated after school and loved the time he spent in the chorus and was looking forward to singing in the big Spring Performance.

From here, I'll let WLTZ take over:

Cobb County, GA (WXIA) - A Georgia mother says her disabled child was ignored during a choir performance that he was suppose[sic] to be a part of.

...The 12-year old Alex Pollard is sat in his wheelchair a whole bleacher section away from the rest of his choir group. 

The school district released a statement and calls the incident a "regrettable oversight" and that the choral director has accepted responsibility. 

However, the choral director, who is also Pollard's teacher says a student helper was suppose to roll him into place, but was absent that day and that he did not see Pollard. 

Pollard's mother says the incident is unacceptable and she now wonders if this happens in class. 

Alex mother, Arla Jan Wilson says,  "He can't play soccer. He can't play football. You know that is what he does. This is his extracurricular activity with the school and to see the way he was treated and what was done to him breaks my heart because that is totally unacceptable.

The school district says it is investigating the incident. 
Look again at the picture that went along with the story. It only made it worse for me.

What really shocks me is that the entire performance could continue with the student sitting off to the side.

Way to be inclusive!

Quite frankly I am happy that the mother said something and that this story was picked up by the media. This behavior should not be tolerated and needs to be stopped. Nevermind how discriminatory the school appeared to be - I can only imagine how this student must have felt....

1 comment:

  1. shameful. I saw another story about a child not allowed to use her walker UMM WTF people?