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?