Red Clay: Your Inclusion Plan Is NOT Working. This Needs To Stop…NOW!!!!!

Last year, the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education approved an inclusion plan for students with disabilities.  Instead of paying for students with severe and intense difficulties in their own educational setting, as required by federal law under IDEA, they decided to stick them with all the regular students.  The results have not been kind to these students.  I’ve been following this story for a while now, but with everything else going on I haven’t been able to give it the attention it deserves.  This changes now.  If I have to fight multiple fronts, I will.  This post put up by a sister of a Red Clay student with Autism was put on Facebook.  This should not be happening at all.  I am begging the Red Clay board to put a stop to this now.  If it means you don’t have funding for WEIC, so be it.  If you can’t handle your own, than you definitely shouldn’t be taking more.  I like some of you as people, but if you can’t get your act together as a whole for students with disabilities, all bets are off.

Today, my mom got a call from one of my sister Juliana’s teachers at Conrad. Her teacher told my mom that Jule was being horribly mocked and teased because of a pair of boots she liked and decided to wear to school today. Juliana is bullied and tormented every single day that she goes to school because she is autistic and she functions differently than other 7th graders. However, today was especially hard to hear about because she came home saying it was “one of the best days of her whole life.” When we asked her why, she said it was because her boots caught everyone’s attention, they were “complimenting” her, and even taking pictures. This honestly broke my heart because anyone would know that those kids weren’t really trying to make her feel good about herself in any way, and those pictures most likely ended up on Instagram or snapchat for everyone to mock. I just don’t understand how kids can be so cruel, especially to someone with a learning disability that doesn’t recognize sarcasm and thought all of their comments were serious. It breaks my heart to see her go through this every day of her life but today really struck something. If you have kids, please teach them kindness. It can be all someone like Juliana needs to know they’re not alone. My sister is a 12 year old girl living with autism, and she’s fucking amazing. Any kid that wants to at come for her, has to come through me first.

Is this really the environment Red Clay wants in their schools?

5 thoughts on “Red Clay: Your Inclusion Plan Is NOT Working. This Needs To Stop…NOW!!!!!

  1. Red Clay officialdom had convinced itself that its separate special ed schools put it “out of compliance” and that the only way to correct it was to “include” 100% of special ed students in the regular schools.

    Parents came out to one of the most passion-filled board meeting in years to speak on both sides of the inclusion issue, and the board did not pass the inclusion measure. Lord knows how it finally did get implemented. I guess they just kept voting until they got what they wanted. At the time, I posted this:

    As I read the emotional quotes from parents who attended last nignt’s board meeting, I can’t help noticing that each parent saw the inclusion plan through the lens of their own child. Some thought it would be best for their child, while others thought the current special schools would be better for their child. And you know what? They are both right.

    District proponents keep repeating the mantra “least restrictive environment” as if it alone had some moral force or shaming power to make their inclusion plan prevail. But who gets to decide which environment is least restrictive for any given child? Special needs children are all different, even more so than other children. Many special needs children would thrive under an inclusion plan, while others would wilt. Not every special ed child fits the inspiring made-for-TV model…

    Often when confronted with an ugly binary choice, the right answer is “Both.” In other words, inclusion should be opt-in, and not forced upon students or parents who don’t want it. True, there would be costs associated with adding special ed resources to regular schools while also keeping the special schools open. But let’s put a price tag on it and get the numbers out there and then decide, instead of butting heads.

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  2. If memory serves, the original motion at the December 2013 board meeting was tabled until March giving the district time to fix it, which it still didn’t do diligence to make it work.

    Inclusion has been a huge issue this year. Our teachers have constantly been overwhelmed by special education with not enough time or support to do what’s needed for not only their students with special needs, but their general education students as well. We don’t have enough teachers to do RTI so our HR teachers have to pull groups which takes from time they could be providing services. Many of our students have so many goals and minutes that it’s doubtful some students are receiving all the time listed. This is not a dig at the teachers. We don’t provide enough for not only SWD, but students from poverty or ELLs.

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      • At the elementary level, I would say that most school districts have students in the least restrictive environment and have inclusion programs. And like the comment earlier some students are successful, some are not, and others cannot tell for themselves; like the student in your post. As a related arts teacher, I teach everyone with no support, little technology, and sometimes above state regulated unit count for k-3. I do the best I can and speak up when I feel I can make a difference for my students and colleagues.

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