To the Editor:
I am appalled at your front page story in the February issue, "Junior high teacher alleges assault." Not only is this story biased but it is very incomplete, demeaning and unprofessional. Come on, this is a community paper!
You do not realize the fight that has been fought for people with disabilities to receive justice, equality and equity in our society. You do not realize the long and dedicated hours parents of children with disabilities have worked to get their children included in everyday life with everyday experiences and everyday opportunities.
This by no means should allow a student to disrupt other children's learning or to be abusive towards anyone but there is a very unbalanced stance and inappropriate information stated in this article: "The kid came up behind me and started humping me." The student asked another if "his butt stank'') by Zabel.
I am a parent and sister of a woman with developmental disabilities who attended "special-ed" in the 1970-80s. I am also a concerned citizen and do not appreciate how the situation with this child has been handled. I need to believe this child's parents are having a really difficult time dealing with what is going on with their son and are probably quite heartbroken with how things have evolved. Can you imagine reading about your child in the manner that he is portrayed in this article?
To write out the statement that the students' parents could sue as to why the child has not been made accountable for his actions - wow, what a statement! Did you wonder why parents might sue? Most likely because they have had to fight for everything for their child from day one! To flatly suggest that this child should be expelled is the exact reason why IDEA and No Child Left Behind was created - to safeguard education for children with disabilities, something that has not always been afforded.
What happened to unbiased and thorough reporting? Professionalism? Your inflammatory statements have the possibility to undo many years of hard work and legislation for students and much added pain for a family.
Leah Preston Ing