The 2017-2018 school year is here! I cannot believe it has been 21 years since I taught in my first classroom. My mantra is still the same…do right by the child!
I have been receiving many calls lately about students both with and without an IEP whose civil rights have been violated. This may be a student with a peanut allergy who was forced to sit in the hall during a peanut lab or a student who was not allowed to play baseball due to an insect allergy. Regardless of your child’s unique need, they are entitled to basic rights, especially when they attend school which is a non profit, federally funded entity.
Our children are entitled to attend lunch, recess, specials, and any other extra curricular activity at school that any other student is allowed to attend. The minute our children are not allowed becomes a civil right violation.
There is no special education Walmart. Our children will eventually shop in the same stores, attend the same churches, and go to the same movie theatre as every other student, so the sooner they become used to being around others, the better off they will be as adults.
Certainly if your child struggles with these activities, exceptions can be made, but there cannot be a blanket exclusivity on behalf of schools toward our children.
Let’s hope for a great school year and one where ALL students are included!