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[IP] Re: discrimination

In a message dated 2/25/02 10:42:21 AM Central Standard Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> No disrespect intended but my experienced (and all I know) would indicate 
> that if we all felt as you then our children would not attend any type of 
> school, especially public. I think the term ministry should be reevaluated 
> if 
> a church is not willing to learn for the sake of a child especially. It 
> will 
> not cost the church any money to have their staff trained by the parent. It 
> IS discrimination just as surely as if she was refused because of the color 
> of her skin or if she were in a wheelchair.
> Beverly

No disrespect intended to you, either, but there is a clear difference 
between a church-run daycare and a state-run daycare or public school.  Our 
children have every right to attend daycares and public schools who are 
required to provide special attention for special needs children.  My wife is 
a public school teacher.  I know all about the things they are required to do 
to accommodate special needs children of every shape and size.  Diabetic 
children don't usually have problems that are going to disrupt a public 
classroom, but there is always a nurse on staff at the schools here to make 
sure the medicines are dispensed properly and the medical tests are being 
done properly.  It seems to me that requiring everyone in the world to bend 
over backwards for me because I have a few special needs and crying 
discrimination when they cannot do so is a very dangerous thing.  

We all know that we have a condition that, most of the time, people don't 
even know we have.  We don't have a big "D" stamped on our foreheads to let 
people know we are diabetic.  We can live normal lives without bothering 
other people once we know how to take care of ourselves.  When I was growing 
up, most teachers couldn't have cared less if I had a problem with low sugar. 
 They didn't think it was a serious enough thing to let me out of class.  My 
PE teacher gave me grief week after week because I needed to stop what I was 
doing when my BG fell.  I'm very glad that times have changed and things like 
that aren't allowed to happen anymore.  I've been just as involved as anyone 
else on this list with government lobbying and proactive stances.  However, 
it is very concerning for a non-diabetic to take care of a small child with a 
condition like diabetes when the person is not trained to handle it and I can 
understand completely why some would be hesitant.

>From my previous experience with church daycare programs, I know that 
sometimes children are denied because it is in the best interest of the 
child.  To force a daycare that is not required by law to live up to state 
laws sounds a bit like forcing a podiatrist to provide the care of an 
endocrinologist just because I only want to use the one doctor.  Of course, 
most podiatrists cannot provide the care that the endo can and they should 
refuse to try to do so in the best interest of the patient.  

It is already a very sad thing that church ministries are limited today by 
the extreme laws applied to them.  We have to worry about lawsuits for all 
kinds of things.  I am not even sure why the church denied admitting the 
child, and I don't think anyone on this list is sure why.  I cannot see that 
they were being mean-spirited and discriminatory until we hear the entire 
story.  From everything that I know about church daycares and the ministry 
they provide, I think they were trying to be honest about not being able to 
take the time to care for a special needs child for extended hours.  I'm 
diabetic and I don't know if I could handle taking care of a small child with 
the condition.  If you see discrimination there, then I guess we'll just have 
to agree to disagree and go on with our lives.  

I don't mean to be offensive in any way, and certainly hope that I have not 
been.  I just find it very concerning that so many have expressed that they 
would sue, or cause some sort of disruption.  Churches are not held to the 
same laws as other institutions because they are supposed to provide 
ministry.  They are not supposed to be in it to make money, other than 
covering the costs of the ministry.  My church will not be able to minister 
to every need of every person in my city.  We don't have a deaf ministry 
here, but we have three people who are blind.  We have one hearing-impared 
lady that likes to come to our church, even though several other churches 
offer sign language interpretation and special classes for the deaf.  She 
comes because she enjoys the fellowship of our members.  She can read lips, 
so she can sort of take care of herself.  She has never demanded that we 
provide a deaf interpreter for her.  Our sight-impared members have never 
demanded that we provide Braille Bibles and hymnals for them.  Two of them 
sing in my choir and I try to go out of my way to make sure they have tapes 
and whatever else they need to learn the music.  However, our budget would 
not allow us to provide Braille books or a deaf interpreter.  We also have 
several diabetics, of whom I am very protective.  We don't have to provide 
special care for them, because their parents are very good about making sure 
they take care of the needs our teachers cannot.  They understand that our 
teachers are volunteers and that they will do their best to take care of the c
hildren, but sometimes parental involvement is necessary.  

Again, I apologize if anything I've said is offensive.  I just wanted you to 
see the other side of the story.  A church cannot meet every single need that 
a person may have.  That's why we have so many different churches of every 
size, denomination, and location.  I'm sure there is probably a church 
daycare out there that has a person who is willing to learn to take care of a 
very young diabetic, or that has a nurse on staff who can be there to help.  
If that church cannot, don't get mad at the people of the church.

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