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Some people are just flaming assholes.

Unfortunately, they happen to be parents of disabled kids. Look, I don't want to seem like more of an insensitive jerk than I actually am, but the father I saw in the video we sat through in class tonight made my palms itch for the clue bat in the worst way.

This fellow, the adoptive parent of a severely disabled young woman (cerebral palsy, epilepsy with over 100 seizures/day, inability to control her excretions, and no control of her tongue, so that she can't talk at all or eat normally) raved for what seemed like an hour about his daughter's wonderful social life, all the support she got from her friends at school, how there were some teachers who Just Didn't Understand...Jesus, the guy was getting on my last nerve when the professor mercifully shut it off.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for teaching kids no matter what their physical disabilities, and teaching the mentally disabled to be all they can be as well, but this guy seemed to think that the social aspects of school were infinitely more important than the educational aspects. He even rhapsodized about the possibility of his daughter attending college and living in a dorm, partying, going out...oh, yeah, and maybe taking some classes. This attitude really frosts me. I didn't like it when I was in high school myself back in the 1970s, and I like it even less now that I'm getting ready to go back as a teacher. The first priority of a school is to teach kids and enable them to get the best education they can get. Anything else, as the Red Baron once said about the duties of a fighter pilot, is bullshit.

This guy deserves to be applauded for taking on the heavy load of adopting and raising a child so severely disabled. He also deserves to be bitch-slapped for sneering at his neighbors, who despite their materialistic ways seem to have managed to raise their kids to be supportive and loving kids who are willing to do all the extra work required to help a friend whose least physical problem is that she can't control her bowels. Also, who the hell does he think he is to tell people what to think and what not to think? He mocked a number of teachers who expressed the perfectly legitimate opinion that his daughter didn't belong in a regular mainstream class without a paraprofessional/aide to help her out - as far as he's concerned, her classmates would be far, far better than any aide could be. Yeah. Right. As if he wouldn't be the first to call the lawyers if the school district transferred the aide and left her to the care of her classmates. There is a world of difference between looking after a special-needs child for a weekend and having to look after that child day in and day out, and you would think Mr. Sphincter would have figured that out by now.

Nah. He's so blinded by years of staring at the full half of the glass that he can't even understand the people who see it as half empty any more. Used to be people focused on all the things disabled people couldn't do, and never even thought of the things that they could do. I'm not sure this guy's attitude is any better - except that it sure makes him feel happy in his perceived superiority. Fuckwit.

It's things like this that make me wonder if I'll be able to keep my temper long enough to get tenure anywhere.

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
qob
Jul. 7th, 2004 08:16 am (UTC)
here's the thing
If you want to be treated JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE that means you have to treat other people that way. I personally think everybody would be better off by knowing and loving me, or more properly Me. But I know I'm an egomaniac and don't inflict it on others... much. He should do the same, despite what the circumstances are. Also you need to live in reality (pat.pend) I used to have this discussion with feminists, there are REAL DIFFERENCES that have to be taken in account.
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