Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sixty Years Later...

God, I love this man...who uses intercourse and injustice in the same quote and rocks it like no other? MLK.

Here's a trick question:

Do you know what Supreme Court decision was remembered yesterday?

Have you ever heard of Brown vs. The Board of Education?
1954 is when it all went down.
Sixty years later we are still talking about it and yes, still celebrating the decision.

Sixty years ago segregation got the boot.

Sixty years ago.

Sixty years ago a grandson of a slave, Thurgood Marshall, stood in front of the United States Supreme Court and argued against allowing segregation in schools to continue.

The Supreme Court unanimously agreed.


Do you hear that?? It has no place.

Sorry to yell but this is something that educators are still talking about.

And I wanna know why.


Today, of course, thanks to Thurgood, it is taboo to suggest that a child of color should be removed to a separate learning area just because of the color of his skin.

But that doesn't stop the system from having an overabundance of children of color identified as needing special education services and then removing them from the classroom that way.

Segregation is alive and well and yes, educators, very well-intentioned ones, try to use the whole separate but equal idea in a subtle way.

They say things like:
Your child will receive special services in the separate classroom.
We can meet your child's needs better in a smaller classroom.
The "educational gap" is too big and your child needs to go to a different classroom.

It's all crap.
SIXTY years ago it was decided.

We all get to learn alongside each other.

In the same classroom.

I sure wish schools would get the memo.

No special room.
No special class.

Nothing special...just the regular class.

That's all we want.
All our kids need.

We have thirty years of educational research that support the sixty year old decision.

We know what works.
Separate classrooms don't.
Engagement, technology, teaching with supports, visual aids, music, clear, specific feedback
these are the things that matter.

It really isn't hard.
We just need access.

Sadly, people with intellectual disabilities get denied access to their neighborhood classrooms all the time. 
Still, 60 years later.

So I'm writing this as a message in a bottle.

Thurgood went to battle.
He had the strength of the Constitution and common sense on his side.
He won -- unanimously -- 60 years ago.

If he can win,
so can we.

Fight the system.
Demand to have your child placed alongside his typical peers.
Don't back down.
Share the stories of success.
Follow the ripple of inclusion.
Watch your child grow and thrive.

If he doesn't.
Don't give up.
Tweak and adjust.

It can happen. Successfully.

The Supreme Court is on our side.
Federal Law is on our side.
We are on the side of love, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion.

That's the side that matters.

Be their voice.
Speak truth to power.
Watch with wonder as miracles happen.
That's the's right in front of us.
Thanks to Thurgood.

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