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Re: [IP] Diabetes Disability Act for children

On 15 Aug 98 at 19:07, Kasey Sikes wrote:

> And don't forget about the
> special education students that are 'mainstreamed' in the regular
> classroom.  Federal law mandates accountability from teachers that they
> are going above and beyond the call of duty to try and educate those
> students in a regular classroom environment without letting anyone else
> know that those students require extra attention.  Don't get me wrong,
> I'm all for mainstreaming, but it takes an inordinate amount of time out
> of a teacher's 50-minutes per group of students.

As the parent of one of those "mainstreamed" kids, and as a person 
who has diabetes, and as a taxpayer...  the above paragraph sounds 
like somebody lighting my (short) fuse...

Maybe we all ought to follow Kevorkain, and five minutes after the 
diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, developmental problems, or anything 
else that we don't like that week  just do some immediate cost 
cutting with a 45 pistol or an overdose of rat poison...   

The reason for mainstreaming is to attempt to give these kids a 
somewhat normal environment.  I remember the days (60's & 70's) where 
the Special Ed classes were just warehouses for the children that the 
school didn't want anyway.  Nobody cared about appropriate education 
because it was a holding tank before warehousing them in an 
institution.  Now some of those pioneer mainstreamed kids are getting 
jobs and contributing to society.   I know of one young man with 
Down's Syndrome who works at the local Briggs & Stratton plant on the 
assembly line - and the people who work with him say he does his work 
very well, is pleasant to be around and is obviously so proud to be a 
part of the workforce.  I've been served in restaurants and grocery 
stores by people with both mental and physical challenges - who are 
able to have a life now as a functioning part of society, instead of 
being shoved into a cell in an institution.  

> You are right that parents should not rely on teachers/schools to care
> for their diabetic children as diligently as the parents do.  It is
> impossible -- even for the teachers that really try.  I'm speaking as a
> parent of a diabetic child AND as a former teacher. 

Schools are similar to hospitals - the last place you want to be if 
you're sick is in the hospital, and the last place you want to go if 
you really want an education is the school system.  They really try, 
but with too few dollars, too many restrictions and a messed up 
teacher training system it is doomed to failure.  The funny things 
around here include a home economics teacher who never took science 
courses teaching the high school Advanced Physics course, and an 
English teacher being drafted to teach the introductory Calculus 

The real problem is in our society, where a person can get millions 
of dollars for throwing a basketball 40 feet, even though that action 
has no intrinsic value, but a person who has a position where they 
can influence hundreds of children a year, a position that has 
immense intrinsic value, is paid little more than minimum wage...

> But don't put all of the blame on teachers.  MOST teachers are doing the
> best they can with one hand tied behind their back and @#%&*!
> compensation for it.  Agreed, public schools will have a very hard time
> giving your child the attention that is really needed and parents have
> to take up the slack.  But until the politics of teaching in public
> schools is changed, there is 'zip' that you can do about it.  And by the
> way, they are state employees, not federal.

Public schools have a hard time just maintaining order, much less 
helping students.  I remember the teachers that influenced me, and I 
also remember the ones who insisted on erronious errors on tests, 
even when shown evidence from reference books and textbooks...  it 
was right just because they said so, no matter what the truth was...
The politics of the public schools are complex - people want a lot 
but don't want to pay for it in the taxes. And they believe the lies 
about lottery money going to pay for education...

> I'll get off my soapbox now.

It's a good soapbox.  Most of the teachers I know have said they are 
looking for another job because the conditions are so bad.  The 
university has started getting worried because the people who want to 
be teachers are the bottom group on the ACT and SAT - and they don't 
know how to attract talented and gifted people to teaching.  The 
wages are so low, the risks are so high, and the situation is 
deteriorating rapidly...  Just leave room on top of the soapbox for 
some of us to join you...

Randall P. Winchester

* The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily *
* reflect the official position of anyone in particular.            *
* There's no guarantee on anything said here...
* If I say I understand something completely the only thing
* we can both be assured of is that I must have completely
* misunderstood something. 
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/