Sunday, April 17, 2011

Citizen Ship in Schools

The title to my blog and to this article makes me trip out a little bit. The more i think about it, the clearer it becomes. I can not speak for everyone, but for my experience with people with disabilities was a bit  segregated. I say segregated because in my high school the had 3 floors, top floor was the seniors and juniors, second floor was your sophomores and freshmen. The special education classroom was in the basement where you would find the locker rooms and the school's gym. It never really hit me until now, but i feel like there was some alienation going on. One of my next door neighbors was in the special education classroom, and it bugged him out. Reason why was because he was not your typical character. Chucky is very well known in my hometown. He was the guy at my football games dress in a full fire fighters suit, helmet, boots, jacket, pants, and riding his bike up and down the town in the suit making a siren noise with his mouth. He did the whole 9. Everyone loved him. In high school everyone would scream his name, not to make in fun of him, but because he was the man. He could careless about anything. He would spit game to girls, and if they looked at him wrong because he looked a little different, he would laugh and let them know "their shit wasnt all that". Direct words from the mans mouth. I bared witness to this NUMEROUS TIMES.  He is very out going, very social, loves to laugh, but he is handicap. For the years Ive know him i have no clue what is wrong with him. Do i care? Not one effing bit. Our school placed him in the basement of our school. My school pretty much told everyone without saying a word, when you go down to the basement to change for gym, that is where you will find the kids with special needs. Wow. However, Mrs. Fishback was my homegirl, they were blessed to have one of the  most caring, loving person i had every met besides my mother for their teacher. Maybe i am looking at this to deeply, but the basement? They had citizen ship to our school, but  was no where to be found unless you had P.E, hit the gym, or kicked with Mrs. Fishback. Im still kind of wavy on this topic, until Tuesday i will have a better understanding on this topic, so i will go with i understand now.

I guess i am pro inclusion. Dont get me wrong, there are some students whos disablites are more server than others, but looking at my man Chucky this could do anything. He was not like the others in his class, reason being said was because he took apon himself, and break out the norm or the cultural of power our school placed him and he did his thing. He would roam the hallways and talk to the people who he knew, like myself. The more he was around the more people saw him the more he wanted to soicalize. The kids in the speical education classroom in the basement never really left, because i am guessing that they were not as comfortable as Chucky was to break out. Chucky to this day attends all home sporting events, never missed a football, baseball, soccer, hockey, and basketball home game since we were freshmen and still goes to every game after graduating 3 and half years ago. CHUCKY IS THE MAN. I feel that even though special need students may not be able to solve a algebra equation, i barely can, or able to communicate efficiently, but being having the opportunity to be with people and able to socialize, and function in the society is the main deal. Just because your disabled doesn't mean you cant live a perfectly normal life, ( but what is normal) it just only means your have strengths in other places that other people would kill to have.

To function in society, you need to teach the rules and parameters to function in the culture of power. Placing wonderful people in a basement, and saying they are citizen of the school, just because they attend the school and are being taught by people who work at the school doesn't make them citizens, i feel it makes them the ghost of the school until your class schedule tells you its time to see them.


  1. I’m seeing a lot of Delpit in the last paragraph. And I agree, this all made me realize how I see the world too and how separation of mentally disabled children from “normal” children doesn’t help matters, just enforces the alienation and the stereotypes. If anything, the children who are really severe in their cases should have special set ups if they cannot be in a regular classroom, to the quote the article not every kid with down syndrome is the same.

  2. your story reminded me of a boy in my high school, he had special needs, i am not sure the exact title for them but they impaired his motor skills, he could walk but it looked out of place. he lovesss sports and helped out with all the boys teams, the coaches made him team manager, all the students knew him and loved him and called him "shredda". in his senior year he wanted to play in a baskteball game, this was the sport he cared for the most. the coach actually allowed him to play in the senior night game and he did very well, the other team played defense against him it was not as intense but they still made him feel like he was really needed. it was great to see for all reasons.