Over at The Gimp Parade, Kay is writing about Alex, who was kicked out of his kindergarten class after the teacher had the class vote whether to keep him out. They all lost, 14-2. Worse yet, the class was asked to tell him how they felt about him, and words like "disgusting" were thrown around.
Alex is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's/autism and, according to some, the diagnosis has already been made. In any event, the teacher was present at IEP meetings and knew this history.
This is the third post I've tried to write about this event. Why? Because yesterday and today my own nephew is going through his own situation. No, he wasn't kicked out of a classroom. But he's unable to go on a class trip, because it involves things like rock climbing and apparently fording rivers and streams and things like that. I guess it's like a sixth grade Survivors thing or something.
Here's the kicker: there's no alternative to this trip. If you're not able to go, you are just out of luck. Not a big deal, perhaps, to adults. I guarantee you it's a bigdeal to him. Watching the bus pull out with everyone else on it? Hearing everyone talk about it? Excluded yet again, as he is day after day because of how we set up our educational system - still.
These "little things", these events that perhaps seem small and it's just too much of a bureaucratic hassle to fix, loom large in the lives of our children.
I still remember my sixth grade class trip. Gary spilled Pepsi on the bus and I spent all day with sticky socks walking around New York. Ew. And my best friend and I got to see artwork that we never would have seen at that age. I also had my first kiss. Yes, Gary. Ew.
My nephew could have gone on so many other kinds of trips. He would have gladly gone if this wasn't such an extreme trip, one set up that it can't possibly be made accessible. I question why physical prowess is still so important in our society because, conscious or unconscious, we differentiate on so many levels on that basis alone.
And then there's Alex. If you ask his mom, she'd say we still have pack behavior and pick on the weakest, most vulnerable and even teach our young to do the same. Even educators, who should know better.
Maybe we've all watched too many of the Survivor shows
Darwinism is alive and well in our school system.
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