Open Letter to Abbotsford School District

A group of parents from the community of Abbotsford have come together to create a local extension of our Provincial action group with the intent on raising awareness and advocating for students who have extra learning support needs. They have written an open letter to the Abbotsford Board of Education and Abbotsford School District, and we are pleased to post it here. If you are interested in connecting with this group of parents, please email abbyparentaction@gmail.com. If you are not from Abbotsford, but would like to connect with our larger provincial parent action group, please email equitableaccesstoeducation@gmail.com.

Open Letter to the Abbotsford Board of Education and Abbotsford School District

The Abbotsford School District commissioned a “Thought Exchange” at the end of the year last year, to provide parents with an opportunity to share their thoughts on their child’s school. Here is how the process works.

First, parents/guardians are provided with a link that takes them to a survey where they type in their responses to four questions. There is a set period of time where comments can be provided.

Then, all the of the responses are accumulated and categorized into common themes. A second survey gets sent out to parents/guardians where they can see the responses and essentially “vote” on the ones that have the most meaning to them.

Finally, the results are tabulated and a final report is generated that shares the things that parents identified as priorities for them. To learn more, please visit the Abbotsford School District ThoughtExchange page.

When the second stage of the process was going on, a parent noticed two very offensive (to her) comments. She reported the comments as offensive via the Thought Exchange tool and asked they be removed because they further marginalize and exclude children with special needs by allowing people to “vote” with their agreement. She emailed the Chair of the Board of Trustees to indicate her concern, but never received a response. She was disappointed that the next time she entered the survey the comments remained for people to vote on.

She held out hope that somewhere in the process, leadership would be shown and the comments would not appear in the final report. As you can see below, this did not happen. The results were released last week and are available for public viewing at the link provided above.

Here are the comments in question (click to enlarge):

screen-shot-2015-10-19-at-8-49-18-am

Image says [sic]: special needs have created a reverse problem in the interest of inclusion. albeit I appreciate a handicap childs access to school, friends, education, etc. when a child is too severly handicap and require constant supervision to the adverse impact on other students then a line needs to be drawn. one child couldn’t be trusted not to hit the other students. this is too far! [12 people, 37 stars, 3 1/8 hearts]

screen-shot-2015-10-19-at-8-49-48-am

Image says [sic]: Students with IEP’s consume a huge amount of time and resources. Teachers attend a number of IEP meetings per year, addapt work ot meet IEP goals and report on each of the students. This does not include all the extra class time these students demand through special instruction, behaviour and discipline issues. There should be only 1 or 2 IEP students per class. [17 people, 54 stars, 3 1/4 hearts]

[The people icon indicates the number of people who indicated their agreement with the statement, the star icon indicates the number of stars that were assigned to the statement, and the heart icon indicates the level of passion for the statement.]

Here’s the thing: all students have a charter right to equitable access to education. ALL students. Comments such as these go against the charter right of students. For more information, please read this article by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafonde and Faith Bodnar: All Children Deserve Quality Education.

Now, we can certainly empathize with why a parent may feel compelled to write such statements, however when a School Board allows such comments to stand and be voted on in support, then we have a problem. Comments such as the ones above offer the opportunity for others to pile on and further marginalize and exclude students who experience challenges and their parents. Further, they detract attention away from the real issue which is the ongoing lack of support for students who have special needs in our school district.

We are curious, would the District allow comments that went against a charter right of another group of people?

We took some time to review the results from all of the schools that participated in this feedback process. An overwhelming majority of the schools identified lack of support for students who have special needs. To be clear, this is the REAL issue. Interestingly enough, this process occurred at the end of the 2014/2015 school year. As we enter into the  7th week of the current school year, we have already heard a number of stories from parents who have children who are not being adequately supported in their school environment. Worse, when they try to advocate for more support they are stonewalled by bureaucratic policies and procedure speak and sent on a chase through a maze to determine “what next”.

We will hear comments such as “we are limited by funding” and we would actually challenge this, knowing how some of the dollars are being allocated within this District, we do believe there is the opportunity to do more. We might hear about a matrix that looks at all the data about kids who have special needs and be told this is how support is allocated throughout the District. Again, we have to challenge this. Since there appears to be a continuation of the problem of lack of support, perhaps it is time to revisit this matrix and create a tool that may be more effective. At the very minimum, it is time for clear, open and transparent communication with parents and caregivers about how supports are allocated in our school district.

Most importantly, perhaps it is also time for the Abbotsford Board of Education and District Staff to start having real conversations with parents who have children who have extra learning support needs and truly begin to understand their experiences. We are not talking about a one off public meeting where a budget is being presented for consultation.

We are talking about creating a safe space for families to come together to share their experiences in a meaningful way, not open themselves up to further marginalization at a public meeting. We are talking about regular, ongoing communications with families to get a picture of what it is like as they try to navigate the education system in our community. To be curious, ask us our stories, and make a commitment for action. This would also be a great way to put the Board of Educations Strategic Plan pillar of Parental Engagement into action.

We often think we require big solutions to problems, and the challenge with this is it becomes overwhelming. We rely on directives and mandates and policies, when really, the biggest impact for change starts with the smallest of steps. Opening hearts and minds to awareness, understanding and possibilities. What might we accomplish together if we take this step? What might this mean for the vulnerable children in our community who have a charter right to education?

We think it is time to find out. We do hope the Abbotsford Board of Education has the courage to take this small step. We can do so much when we are united.

We look forward to hearing from you via our email address below. We would appreciate a response from the Board of Education and the Abbotsford School District by November 6, 2015.

Sincerely,

Abbotsford Parents Action Group
abbyparentaction@gmail.com

cc:

Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, British Columbia
Special Education, Learning Supports – Ministry of Education
Michael de Jong, MLA
Simon Gibson, MLA
Darryl Plecas, MLA
Abbotsford District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC)
Abbotsford District Teachers Association
Henry Braun, Mayor, Abbotsford
Tyler Olsen, Abbotsford News


Post Script:

A common argument from community will be “those” kids shouldn’t be in school in the first place. Fair enough. We respect your right to free speech, but let us illustrate for you what this means…

Child is excluded from school and remains at home. No external supports in place to assist with behaviors. All on parent(s). What if parent is single parent? Well, too bad, now you have to quit your job because you cannot find a child care space. Which means you then have to apply for assistance yourself. Or one parent leaves their job and the family becomes single income. And the family still receives no external support to assist with escalating behaviors (because child and adult are now isolated creating a downward spiral of emotional wellness). Eventually, it can become so overwhelming that parent feels there is no other option but to place in care of Ministry. If they will agree….

In this picture, society as a whole has essentially given up on the child and the parent and said ‘You don’t matter”. Is this really the community you want to live in? Take the time to ask families their story. You might be surprised by what you learn.

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22 thoughts on “Open Letter to Abbotsford School District

  1. It is very hopeful that your group is organizing and coming together for these kids and families. I hope you have great success.

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    1. Thank you Kay. We hope we can start generating opportunities for families in our communities to be able to share their experiences, with the intent of then ensuring families get the support and information they need.

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    1. Hi Crystal, thanks for your comment. I think the best thing community can do is take the time to learn about some of the challenges that families face when they have a child who has special needs. Being open to understanding there is more to the situation than what you see on the surface. We would love to have people support us in advocating for our kids! If you are in Abbotsford, please feel free to contact us at the email indicated in the post. Thanks again for your question. It is much appreciated!

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  2. What a marvellous opportunity this would be to draw groups of parents together around their universal rights rather than polarizing them over one group of children. “Opening [their] hearts and minds to awareness, understanding and possibilities” would allow the group that wrote this letter to pursue dialogue with the parents they disagree with, rather than seeking to silence them and render their children’s needs invisible.

    It is entirely understandable that the Abbotsford’s SN parents’ group’s response to other people’s exercise of freedom of expression would be one of fear; perhaps they do not hear the fear for their own children that these parents are expressing. Perhaps it would do everyone good to have a read through this blog post: http://championsforcommunitywellness.com/2015/10/22/fear-and-collaboration/comment-page-1/#comment-1281. In my comment to that post, I linked to a video in which social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains how “engaging the psychology of teams” shuts down open-minded thinking. Teams also engender a mentality of “other,” in which parents of other children become an enemy. There is no future in a dialogue that polarizes the parents when the desired goal is for the children to be in classrooms together.

    It would be such a shame if the parents being silenced here were driven to go to court to have their voices given equal value. After all, the courts are unlikely to find that normal children’s rights or their parents’ freedom to speak for them are subjugate to the rights or freedoms of special needs children and parents. No parent can be legally required to sacrifice their child to another child’s parents.

    What parents can unify around is the right; indeed the duty, that all of them have to protect their individual children and enable them to thrive. An innovative approach is being used now in 5 US states, known as Education Savings Accounts, whereby parents can access the funding allocated to their child and customize the services they patronize. This can mean selecting classes or times of day tailored to precisely what each child needs. Special needs parents in particular are welcoming these initiatives. https://stepupforstudents.org/special-needs-scholarship/plsa.

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    1. You make the assumption that we disagree with the concerns of parents regarding their own child’s education. This could not be further from the truth. Many of us in the action group have children who would be considered typical learners and we are concerned about how the lack of support for special needs students also impact their education. All voices are welcome as long as they do not discriminate or advocate for the breaching of fundamental human rights…which those comments so clearly did.

      You are correct in that we DO need to unite as parents for ALL of our children. Most parents will recognize that if we provide appropriate supports to our kids who need them, ALL kids will benefit. We believe parents of ALL kids have the right to bring concerns forward about their own child’s education (in ways that are respectful and not exclusionary), and they have the right to be heard by the system itself. The multitude of other Thoughtexchange responses provided plenty of opportunity to indicate agreement that ALL kids are being impacted by the lack of supports being provided. Please visit the link to the entire report for to see these comments. We even indicated this in the letter: “We took some time to review the results from all of the schools that participated in this feedback process. An overwhelming majority of the schools identified lack of support for students who have special needs. To be clear, this is the REAL issue.”

      So how do we come together to make this happen? It takes courage, commitment and a will to be curious. It starts with drawing attention to an issue that is happening, raising awareness and asking questions. There is an opportunity here to generate conversation and ideas. Parents who have kids who have extra learning support needs are doing their best to navigate and advocate within a system that does not always take the time to truly understand our experiences. If you are a parent of a child who does not require extra learning support needs, but you are concerned they are not receiving the education they deserve, then join us. Learn our stories, learn that we AGREE with you, which is why we are advocating so hard to have our voices heard.

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      1. Karin, thanks for the links you posted.

        In response to ‘fear’ …
        Fear, perhaps. Fear for our children’s future. Fear of what is going to happen to them after we leave this planet. Perhaps it’s always there for some.

        This response, however, is not fear based in the least. We are a unified demand that our children have access to what is granted to them as human beings under what we all agreed upon should be the law. A long time ago, I might add.

        It’s an affront to society that we regress in this matter of equitable access and human rights.

        If anything, we should be angry.

        You should be angry.

        However, we are not. We are getting down to the business of causing transformation.

        Respectfully,
        Mom of 4, Champion of All

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This action group is not responding out of fear, nor are they asking for a dialogue that includes having to justify their children’s right to be in a regular education classroom. You see, that dialogue happened a long time ago and resulted in their equity rights being guaranteed in Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Since then, all public government services – like education – can no longer treat children with special needs as they once did – as charity cases, subject to generous hearts, a robust budget, or the good will of other parents and the community.

    It is now a guaranteed right to be included and their legal right to be accommodated with all necessary support services that would allow them, and their non-disabled classmates, to equitably access educational opportunities.

    If that isn’t happening, then the question to be asked is not: “Should those students be in the classroom?”….But rather, “Why isn’t the district providing the resources required to ensure the classroom is a calm and healthy learning environment for ALL its students?”

    When there is compliance with the law, and children’s right no longer breached, then no parent will feel their child – fully abled or disabled – is being sacrificed for the sake of another.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I make no assumptions at all. I observe behaviours.

    Heidi (thank you for giving me a name to relate to), it is nice of you to express interest in the links I posted. I have put the information about Education Savings Accounts (there are hundreds more links available of course) in front of hundreds of special needs parents and have yet to hear any substantive response to the concept from a BC perspective. I would be very interested in hearing a comparative account of BC special needs parents’ ability to access funding (since I know the situation from a non-special family’s experience).

    What law exactly is everyone here basing their certainty on? Is there a court decision you can cite specifically?

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    1. I just took a look at the link you provided. It is an interesting concept however strict criteria apply in who is able to benefit from such a program. From the link:

      “At this time students ages 3 to 22 with the following diagnoses are eligible to receive PLSA funds: Autism spectrum disorder, Muscular dystrophy, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader‐Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome, Intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment), or Kindergarteners who are deemed high‐risk due to developmental delays”

      Additionally, it only allows one review of the support needs over the course of the child’s education, therefore does not provide tremendous flexibility in terms of variation in support needs. So:

      1. child with one of the designated disorders/disabilities is experiencing major difficulties in Kindergarten,
      2. family applies gets approved at a certain support level (likely high),
      3. child has becomes more successful in grade 3, 4, and 5 review is requested, support is decreased.
      4. child hits puberty and experiences re-emergence of significant behaviors, however no further review is permitted, thus stays at lower level of support

      One might argue that family should not request a review earlier. One could also then argue that if the child is not experiencing significant needs at that time, the funding should be allocated to another child who might be.

      Certainly the program provides more flexibility to parents in terms of what kinds of services and supports they may be able to access for their child, however again, the criteria for who gets approved is limiting. What about the kids who have severe mental illness/behavior disorders; type 1 diabetes who require nursing support to manage; children who have FASD; children who have a complex diagnostic laundry list; and more.

      If you are interested in learning more about current funding allocations in our province, please visit http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/k12funding/funding/15-16/welcome.htm

      One often thinks that if their child receives a designation or category in the education system, this qualifies the child to receive the corresponding level of funding. This is not the case. Each school district receives the accumulation of funds and then makes decisions on how to allocate the dollars within their schools. The Ministry of Education says that all students must be supported, including students who have extra learning support needs but do not generate any funding via a category or designation. Decisions on who gets support rest at the school level with the Principal. Parents are often left to try and navigate this process with little information or support. While appeals processes exist for dispute resolution, I would invite you to check with any family who has gone through one of these processes and ask them how easy it is to first, find out about the process, and second, how they are treated within these.

      For the Ministry of Education Special Education Policies, Procedures and Guidelines, please visit: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/special_ed_policy_manual.pdf

      For more information on the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, please visit: http://www.ccdonline.ca/en/humanrights/

      From the Council of Canadians with Disabilities: “The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and the Equality Rights Section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees people with disabilities equal benefit and protection before and under the law.

      From the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf

      “Article 23 (Children with disabilities): Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support, as well as all the rights in the Convention, so that they can live full and independent lives.”

      As Heidi mentioned above, you will be able to find plenty of documentation online regarding the disability and human rights. I hope the above two links I provided will help start you on the search process.

      Further – there should be absolutely no reason why we should be required to justify our position and satisfy your need for more information, when these charter rights were determined years ago!

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  5. This is somewhat helpful in terms of assessing the one program to which I linked, but as I said, there are 5 states now using this policy, and Florida was, I think, the second (Arizona was first). Each successive state that has implemented it has incrementally increased the eligibility to the point where in the last, Nevada, all children are eligible. Even in the earliest adopting states, parents of children attending low performing schools were also eligible. Thus an examination of the specific criteria in one case is not necessarily helpful in doing a comparative analysis with BC. I selected the link I did because it was written by a special needs organization and I thought it would be the most relevant for your group specifically. This does not make it a comprehensive reflection of all such programs.

    I appreciate the links you’ve provided. Your description of how BC policies are experienced is, however, what I was more interested in, and it makes it quite clear that the Education Savings Account would be a far superior alternative. Your description is supported by the nightmares I’ve been hearing about from special needs parents in the 20 years I’ve been observing special needs lobbying efforts. It has always struck me that special needs parents’ lobbying for more decision-making power by the school has never yet served a single special needs child. The more money involved, the more it matters that the decision-making power should rest with the parent, because control over other people’s money does strange things to bureaucratic functionaries. As, indeed, Mark Zuckerberg found out when he gave $100M to a low-performing New Jersey school district.

    The reason I am asking for a specific case citation to fully understand the various assertions of “legal rights” that have been made here is this: in law, the exercise of rights imposes duties in others. It is important that you cite your authority so that the nature of the duty you seek to impose is clear. It would be futile to lobby the Board of Education to do anything that infringes the freedoms of those on whom you seek to impose duties. After all, anyone whose freedom is infringed has, in turn, a basis to litigate, leaving the board vulnerable to being found liable for such infringements. The board is bound by the Charter with respect to all its constituents, including those who do not have children. All electors have an important role under the School Act. They (we, actually) have the responsibility to act when board members are in conflict of interest, as was done in Richmond by Mr. Cornelius Wynja in the early 1990s. His successful legal actions can be found on CanLII.

    This is why, even if we were to wake up in an alternate reality tomorrow where the Abbotsford parents’ group, instead of lobbying the board, suddenly WAS the board, it would still be necessary to cite the legal authority on which you base your claims of rights. (The links at the bottom of the last post are not such authorities, nor do they say that SN children’s rights are what various posters have claimed they are in this thread). A board made up of all SN parents would be bound by exactly the same Charter responsibilities that bind the existing board, and it would be important for them to know the exact legal basis of their belief that allocating funding as per their stated preference is the “right” thing to do. Particularly to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

    In a discussion such as this, there is no legal requirement to avoid conflict of interest, but if there is any desire for the conversation to go somewhere productive, all participants need to overcome their inherent biases. That is what you are asking non-special parents to do. It is also what they are asking you to do, and if any of you were on the board, you would have to, or face being removed from office.

    The apparently common belief within this group that non-special parents would be motivated to search, research, and study special needs law is, I’m afraid, a little optimistic. Like you, most people are interested in researching their own legal rights and freedoms, not someone else’s. I’m a little unusual in that my interests span a broad spectrum, since my curiosity is about a system design that would eliminate conflict of needs, rights, and freedoms. But even if I were to spend entire nights up searching and reading, how would I know when I find the case that you are citing? I might read, or re-read, Hewko, Wynberg, Moore, and more, but reading them does not tell me whether they are the cases on which you are basing your arguments.

    That said, I have extensively researched Education Savings Plans because it looks to me like a way to finally end the special needs wars that have plagued BC public education for over 20 years, and I thought special needs parents would find that idea attractive as well. It would be so easy: any class in any setting that you want your child to be in, you hire the support you want to make it work. YOU allocate the funding, instead of competing for it with other special needs children, and instead of begging the principal to allocate it as you want. But I can’t make you be interested in researching that concept, any more than you can make parents who oppose your vision be interested in researching it.

    But perhaps you all prefer conflict. It is often the case that people become so habituated to chasing one utopia that they do not see a different, very comfortable option at the side of the road. It was ever thus, that perfect is the enemy of good.

    If you don’t prefer conflict, then by all means cite the legal decisions that support your arguments, and then the conversation can turn to something concrete – the nature of the law – from which mutually agreeable outcomes might emerge between you and the parents whose voices you don’t want heard, rather than being the same old victimization one-upmanship that has marked the past 20 years, in which, rather than any group of parents finally triumphing, we all remain in a state of gritty hatred while the bureaucrats become steadily more powerful over us all.

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  6. I clearly clarified in my first comment to you that it is not our intent to silence voices, in fact we encourage ALL parents to join us, that we are concerned for the education of ALL children. From my first comment:

    “There is an opportunity here to generate conversation and ideas. Parents who have kids who have extra learning support needs are doing their best to navigate and advocate within a system that does not always take the time to truly understand our experiences. If you are a parent of a child who does not require extra learning support needs, but you are concerned they are not receiving the education they deserve, then join us. Learn our stories, learn that we AGREE with you, which is why we are advocating so hard to have our voices heard.”

    I took the time out of my morning to review the link that you included and provided my perspective as you had asked. To which you informed me there were other jurisdictions that I should have reviewed instead. I took the time to provide you with links and information so that you would have ease of access to what you were looking for, but clearly I was not finding what you were hoping for.

    Our letter clearly states “We took some time to review the results from all of the schools that participated in this feedback process. An overwhelming majority of the schools identified lack of support for students who have special needs. To be clear, this is the REAL issue.”

    We continue to believe this is the REAL issue, we continue to advocate for change within the system that we have in place at the current time. If you are not in support of this or what we are trying to accomplish, it is your prerogative.

    This will be my final comment on your posts. I presume you will continue advocating for systemic change via your own blog as well.

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  7. I am truly perplexed by your idea that one should be required to cite a legal reference in order for an existing law to be respected. It seems such a absurd requirement. For example…

    Your right as a woman to vote in the last election was won in 1918. How affronted would you had been had someone required you to cite the specific reference to the law granting your entitlement to vote, and then inform you that you should engage in a discussion about the nature of that law whereby everyone can arrive at some mutual agreement about your entitlement before you were handed a ballot? .

    This isn’t about any one group of parents “triumphing” over another as you put it. If that is your perspective then you truly do not understand the aim of parents who have children with special needs. Asking that our children’s rights be respected does not mean we are okay with other children’s rights being compromised. Nor are we okay with having our children blamed for the problems that occur due to irresponsible local policies, mismanagement, a lack of funds, poor training, or any other reason that contributes to the problem. It seems to me that it is the district and the Ministry who own those monkeys, and if the circus is out of control, it is theirs to fix….not the attendees.

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    1. The need to cite a legal reference is not my idea. It is inherent to the rule of law. I’ve just spent a half hour trying to write out an explanation, but I think you’d be better off to get an explanation from a lawyer, or some legal sources on line. Maybe looking up “common law” or “rule of law” or “legal citation” might help.
      The right of women to vote can be traced very precisely through a long series of legislative provisions, and perhaps court cases as well. The persons case, on the other hand, was an example of the courts being used to affirm a right in law.
      The law is a competitive, infinitely challengeable, and always evolving set of rules. You can watch the process unfolding in real time in Canada or the US (we are both common law jurisdictions) if you watch the advance of same sex marriage or marijuana legalization.
      It would do the topic an injustice if I were to try to explain further than that.

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  8. I deviate, but I believe this is important…

    Having been on the receiving end of a litany of similar comments aimed at my child, recorded by the (private) school and then presented at a hearing as to why we were not welcome to walk back through the doors again, I venture to say that this brand of discrimination is one of the most disgusting ones.

    We are talking about CHIILDREN.

    And ALLOWING this to be their experience.

    Anyone who disagrees with this stand has no idea what is being discussed, here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anyone who disagrees with your stand simply has a different perspective. The child who gets hit, and that child’s parents, could say exactly the same thing: this is about CHILDREN getting hit. ALLOWING this to be their experience.
      Until you can regard them with empathy, you will never reach them. Until you appreciate THEIR rights in law, you will never have a legally supportable plan.
      Many people (maybe a majority) would say that it’s pretty disgusting to have a conversation about a child getting hit only through the lens of the child who did the hitting.

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  9. Thank you for this, Heidi. To provide more explanation as to why I believe the one comment in particular (about the student who hits) is offensive:

    1. The comments were made as part of one specific school community. So participants in the process can then begin to narrow in on *who* might be being referenced in the comment.
    2. Imagine you are the parent of the student being referenced. Or even the student himself.
    3. You automatically see how many people vote to indicate their agreement that you do not belong in this particular school community. I would suggest that it may also infringe on right to privacy, as schools are not to provide public comment on behavior of students, yet by allowing the comment to stand, effectively they have
    4. Others may not vote, but will *assume* they know exactly who is being referenced in the comment.
    5. This provides the opportunity to place the blame *on the student* for poor behavior and contribute to thoughts that students who have these challenges have no place in the school system
    6. Neither comment reflects on lack of effective and appropriate support being provided which, in all likelihood is the REAL reason for the concern.

    Again, as I stated in my first comment “All voices are welcome as long as they do not discriminate or advocate for the breaching of fundamental human rights…which those comments so clearly did.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But never do you try to imagine what it would be like if you were the child who got hit, or that child’s parents.
      From my perspective, your efforts to screen the child who got hit out of the conversation are discriminatory and advocate for the breaching of that child’s fundamental human rights.
      Until you regard that child as equally human as your own, you will likely not be welcomed into their conversations, meaning you and they are doomed to continue having two mutually exclusive and diverging conversations.
      No one is forcing you to humanize the parents who oppose you. But the board you are lobbying is forced to do so, and this consideration controls whether they can accede to your requests.

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      1. Do you think that all children who hit are Special Needs Students? Or that all Special Needs Students hit?

        Being the parent of typical children, also, I can tell you this is not the case.

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  10. “But never do you try to imagine what it would be like if you were the child who got hit, or that child’s parents.” That’s just one example of many insulting assumptions you have made throughout this thread about parents of children with special needs. Until you regard those parents more objectively and accurately, we will be doomed to continue having two mutually exclusive and diverging conversations. With that said, there’s no point in continuing this conversation with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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