Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kliewer- Citizenship in School

"Citizenship in School"

    Children in the special education program deal with segregation every day. In a way I can see why, These children have specific needs and some of them can be very disruptive to the classroom. However, having special education students integrated into certain classes can be beneficial to everyone. 
    I grew up in Warwick and we had an Special Education Integration Program. I remember in 5th grade there was a boy named Chris who was introduced to our class. He had several limitations but I am pretty sure his major limitation was Cerebral Palsy. He wore a helmet and had canes, he was a really sweet kid. Our teachers also did a really great job introducing him to our class, we were too young to understand what he had going on but our teachers made it very clear that it was important
that he was accepted into our class and that we included him. 
  Chris was  not always involved in our class but he was there through parts of the day. He always went to science, art and sat in on our social studies classes. Sadly I am not sure what happened to him after 6th grade, he may have moved or maybe he was kept in a separate part of the middle school. 
  The sad thing is that after elementary school I never had a single special needs student in my class again. From then on my experience was that the special needs kids were kept in the basement with the behavioral kids. It seems as if after elementary school these children were pushed away. Maybe it's because I changed school departments but based on my research Cumberland has a better school system than Warwick. I would assume that their Special education department would be advanced because of this. 
    Cumberland had a horrible integration program, in fact I don't believe they followed an integration program at all. We had one Autistic kid in our class, but he had Aspergers and was brilliant. He was the smartest kid in every single one of our classes.
    Cumberland literally kept the entire Special Education Department in the basement behind the locker rooms for the football team. The only other class room down there was the Health room. The students had their own entrance, they had their own lunch time, and we honestly only knew they were in the school because they finished lunch when we arrived for first lunch.
   I could on about this topic forever, but the fact of the matter is that we need to make a better effort to get these children involved in our school. A school should be like a small community, we are all neighbors, we all know each other, and we help each other out. No child should ever be left behind and thats not limited to race or economic status. Students have the right to go to school and receive the best education the school can provide. 

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