I saw this letter regarding Carl Paladino's boarding school plan in today's Buffalo News from a misinformed parent and felt the need to respond. (For the record, Carl Paladino brought up this plan but it is not his plan. As Michael Caputo points out underneath this post, President Obama's Education Secretary first came out with nthe idea. When he suggests it, it is progressive. When Paladino suggests it, it is divisive. Which is it?...
Paladino knows nothing about special education
Now Carl Paladino has made me mad as hell. It is obvious he knows nothing about the needs of special children. Taking children from their families and putting them in boarding schools is not the answer. You can put them in clean uniforms and give the children three square meals a day, but these children need great amounts of special care and love. That comes from family and their teachers, not a boarding school.
My son was born in 1967 with learning disabilities, a lazy eye, dyslexia and hyperactivity. He often needed one-to-one instruction. His special education teachers were so caring and dedicated. They always told me of any concerns they had and always listened to my concerns.
After six years in special education classes, it was determined he was ready for junior high school. The rest is history. He is married with two children and has been with the same employer for 25 years. I will always be thankful for his special education.
This is a perfect example of how people try to distort the facts in order to form their agenda. In this case, The Buffalo News' agenda is to make Paladino look like a villain, which apparently is why they chose to print this erroneous letter. His plan does not call for taking special education students and putting them in boarding houses. He is not talking about children traditionally described as "slow learners" or mentally retarded. He is talking about emotionally disturbed children, often the result of very unstable home lives. These are the students in class causing major disruptions to the other 90% of the students. They are often loud and potentially violent.
The special education students, like the letter writer's son, are probably not disruptive and would not need this extra layer of support. People attempting to demonize Paladino's plan (because they don't like him), need to differentiate between the two. Is it a perfect solution? No. Would it need tweaking? Like any new idea, it probably would. The alternative would be to sit back and do nothing, and watch more Buffalo Public School students perish through lives of drugs, violence, and despair...
Paladino knows nothing about special education - Letters to the Editor - The Buffalo News