Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Survivor Kindergarten?

Warning! This is a rant.

I've learned so much about people since I started blogging. All kinds of people. I feel incredibly blessed to know such a diverse group of people. In my eyes, they are all special.

That's why it saddens me to hear a story like the one I read today on Asperger Square 8 about Alex. Alex doesn't feel very special because his teacher had the class take a vote, and they voted him out of the class, 14-2. Alex is five years old and in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's.

It is appalling that a child would be treated like this. I have had quite enough of the reality show mentality that seems to pervade our society. What message are we sending the next generation when we "vote out" a student because he is considered "disgusting and annoying?" This is on a par with teens beating up their peers to make a popular YouTube video. What next, gladiatorial games at recess?

I've learned a lot about Asperger's from the blog Shard by Shard. momof3feistykids, if you're listening, could you provide a link to the video with the teen talking about Asperger's? I couldn't find it.

Alex, you are a special kid. No child should have to go through what you did.

Update: It has come to my attention that there have been some hateful comments and campaigns regarding the teacher in this incident. I am saddened again. Intolerance is not an effective tool to bring about change. I want remind everyone who reads my blog to stop and think before you act, lest you become what makes you angry. My belief is that by educating we can help people understand the differences that make each of us special. If we decide to hang the teacher involved, we are showing as much consideration for her as she did for Alex. For any who were offended by links I've provided, I do apologize. It was my intent to inform, because ignoring these issues only empowers them. I see this as an opportunity to grow. I am still looking for the video about the Asperger's teen to link for you. If anyone knows this video please pass the link.

Update 2: I've found the link. The video is called In My Mind.

12 comments:

ComfyDenim said...

Oh, poor baby.
just wanna hug him and have a good loud talk with his teacher.
my gosh.

TheMFamily said...

Oh, that is SOOO sad! That poor boy! How could anyone do that to a child? I guess a teacher that doesn't CARE about the children she teaches. Poor boy, I hope this doesn't do serious damage to him. :(

momof3feistykids said...

What the HECK are these people thinking!?! :-(

I don't have the link to the video either. Maybe it was on someone else's blog?

B&B said...

This story made me cry. It's also close to where I use to live so I know the area well. I'm SO angry over this! It's also bringing up lots of terrible memories of George's experience even though he doesn't have Aspergers. NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE TREATED SO POORLY!!!
And unfortunately, I know first hand about the damage it does to them.

Keeley said...

I shared this with my family and we are just absolutely furious. That poor little kid! How could that teacher do that? Oh it makes me soooo mad.

TobyBo said...

one more reason I'm glad my crew is home...

Anonymous said...

It is really sad that this young boy was made to feel rejected and shamed. It is also sad and scarey that the power of blog land has. I went to the site you linked and comments have been closed. The reason given was that the whole incident was creating equally disgusting behavior from supposed caring, concerned Christian people. Comments such as - she didn't deserve to live! I really hope that the true story or incident has been shared in its entirety and that this woman (her name has been supplied) has not been found guilty and hung for something that may have been documented wrongly. I am not excusing her behavior. However,I am concerned at how other ugly retaliation can be born from jumping on the wagon. Also, I am not suggesting that you were ugly in your post. However, you have made links to other sites which have links to a rather ugly hate campaign.

jugglingpaynes said...

Hello Anonymous,

I am glad you brought this to my attention. I wish you had given me a name or at least specified which link you were talking about. I saw that Asperger Square 8 closed their comments and I assume that this is what you are talking about. If not, please send me a note and direct me to the right link.

I do not condone retaliation. If you read my blog regularly you know that I try my best to bring minds together. I am updating this entry to speak to your concerns.

Anonymous said...

http://www.slate.com/id/2192480/entry/0/

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/30/earlyshow/living/parenting/main4140155.shtml

http://www.momlogic.com/2008/05/teachers_from_hell.php

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/may/30/michael-goforth-st-lucie-schools-hits-keep-comingg/

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you for sharing these links. The last one in particular, an opinion piece by Michael Goforth, brings up some valid points about how schools and teachers are ignored as long as they are doing what we ask and attacked when they disappoint. I agree that we are asking the wrong questions. I want to know how we are going to prevent such things from happening again.

Anonymous said...

http://thalunatic.blogspot.com/2008/05/kindergarten-teacher-humiliates-5-year.html

Anonymous said...

I think that teachers need to be better educated about learning a behavioral disorders (though I know that some are quite knowlegeable in these areas, some are seriously lacking). especially kindergarten teachers who may have children that are undiagnosed in their classrooms and should be trained in how to spot potential problems and get the child the suport they need. perhapse if the teacher had better training in this area, this would not have happened.

Rissa

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