In Response To Editorial
In response to your editorial regarding the placement of special needs students in a least restrictive environment, I could only wonder how one very ignorant and ill-informed person could possibly think he speaks for an entire community.
As a teacher in the Rockaway community and an aunt of special needs children who live in Broad Channel, I not only took offense to everything contained in this editorial, but the cruelty of the accompanying cartoon (as if any child should be lampooned in this manner) truly crossed the line.
The editor should note that all children, not just those identified as special needs children, can impact the emotional climate of a classroom. One of my main responsibilities as a classroom teacher is to ensure that every student feels safe and respected while they are in school.
Classroom teachers, administrators, and parents work very hard to achieve this goal. Thankfully, I have not come across anyone with such negative and ill-informed opinions in my 12 years of teaching.
The author of this editorial writes about keeping these “emotionally liable” students (his words, not mine) away from the general population. Separating children based solely on predisposing genetic characteristics is not only illegal, but is strongly reminiscent of Fascism.
The writer states that special needs students “terrorized lunchrooms throughout the city and became lords of the hallway.” He could not have been more inaccurate.
Every child deserves a chance to enjoy and excel at every opportunity our public education system has to offer.
I believe it is extremely cowardly for the writer to place his disappointment with the current state of public education at the feet of special needs children.
Find another scapegoat!!!