Did you hear this news story?
There is a little five year old boy in Florida. He was just diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. His Kindergarten teacher decided that it was best for this boy to stand him up in front of his class and ask each student what they didn't like about him. She went around the room and asked each student to state what it was about this child that made him annoying to others. Some of the kids used words such as "disgusting". Then she asked each student to vote as to whether or not Alex deserved to stay in their classroom, and at a vote of 14 to 2, this poor child was voted out of his classroom. The only friend he has ever made in his life also had to participate in this act of assault.
Unbelieveable. After hearing this story, and crying last night, I woke up this morning enraged. I don't see how a teacher, who has been trained in today's educational practises, can honestly feel that this would be benificial to either Alex, or to any of the other children in the classroom. This served no purpose in solving any difficulty that was occuring in the classroom, it only made it worse as it encouraged the other children to see this child as "bad" and not worthy of their friendship. For a child who needs friendship and acceptance so desparately, he was placed in front of a group of his peers that he has to see everyday, and ridiculed.
You know the thing that bothers me the most, is that when I was searching this story this morning on the internet, I came across many comments from others who are in support of this teacher and what she did, blaming the child and "bad parenting". What happened to progress??? What happened to tolerance??? (by the way, the parents have been working very hard, along side with the school, to get this child tested and to come up with an educational plan for him.)
As a mother of a child who likely had similar struggles as this child (although not too many behavioural issues ) I shudder to think what would have happened to my son if he had of ended up in a classroom, school, or school board, that considers this an acceptable way of dealing with children like this. I have said many times before and I will say it again ... we are very fortunate to have teachers, a school, and a school board, that has gone out of their way to do whatever they can to help Matt with any of his issues. I know that because of them, he will be successfully graduating from high school and carrying on to University. He has been able to be successful because he has the backing of wonderful teachers, principal, and school, who have always wanted the best for him.
I also want to give a big kudos to the parents for fighting this fight for Alex. It's so easy for those who have so-called "normal" children to assume that kids like this is due to bad partenting. In my experience, those of us who have been called to raise these children end up being much better parents because they have to fight so much harder for them, they constantly have to search out ways to help their child, they have to have more patience ... and the list goes on. So to Alex's parents, and the others out there who are fighting this fight, keep it up. Our children deserve it. Our children need it. Our children will be successful because of it.
Lastly, to those parents our there who don't have a special-needs child, please teach your children tolerance, not ignorance; acceptance, not exclusion. Life is tough enough for our kids.