Special ed discipline abused, too

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Bravo for addressing such a sensitive topic! (“With inclusion, best intentions often go awry,” October 2005) While I could write a novel on how fully I agree, I will refrain. Please continue to look into and bring forth the opinions and experiences of teachers and students who are affected by the indiscriminant mainstreaming of many students who would be better served in a more controlled, attentive environment.

I would also ask that you look into the problems faced by teachers and administrators when attempting to discipline students with special needs. Too often, students who may have a slight learning disability and who require some support are using their status as special needs students to avoid consequences that should follow their unacceptable behavior. At what point did we allow students who might have a problem learning math to hide behind their individual education plans (IEPs) after assaulting a teacher either verbally or physically?

I am tired of watching students (and their parents) scream “special ed” or “IEP” when they have committed a violation of the uniform discipline code in both minor and major offenses. LD means that one might have difficulty learning or assimilating new information in a content area. It does not mean that a student does not know how to act or control themselves unless they are so designated.

Charles Stephenson

Teacher, Clemente High