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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yearbook Labels Students 'Mentally Retarded'

A high school in Texas wanted to honor its Special Education Program with a section in the yearbook.

This section, meant to honor the program and students, states:

"Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal … (students' names) are both blind and deaf, as well as mentally retarded."


Say what?! That blurb is to honor the Special Education Program? Just how does that statement honor the program, much less the students?

The school district did confiscate all the yearbooks. The reason given was "a slight mistake that needs to be fixed." A slight mistake? How about invasion of privacy for one.

The district went on to say that the section has to be removed because it didn't obtain parents' permission to run photos of their students.

I seriously doubt putting their photos in the yearbook is the issue. If your child attends that school, and is there for picture day, their photo will be in the yearbook. What about all the other candid photos and photos from all the events throughout the school year that are included in the yearbook? It's a given if you're at the school you just might find a photo of yourself in the yearbook.

The issue isn't about using their photos. The issue is about disclosing students' medical information and diagnoses. That has to be against the law.

It's also no one's business what disabilities those students have. How is that honoring the program by labeling the students with their disability? If they wanted to honor those students and that program why not with something positive they achieved during the school year? Why not pictures of them accomplishing something together?

The rest of the student body didn't receive personal labels attached to their pictures.

I want to know how this ever passed inspection for publication; isn't there a faculty advisor? How could anyone think that was ok to print?

People with disabilities are not their labels and need to stop being referred to as such. They are students just as much as the rest of the student body and need to be treated with respect and dignity.

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5 comments:

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

That's just plain awful. What the heck were these people thinking? It scares me that the adults in charge of overseeing the year book didn't question that section nor the wording.

lkgf4dmcrc said...

Yes Michelle. I just left a comment on Huffington post stating I hope they posted if a kid had a sexually transmitted disease too. Shameful!

Not a Perfect Mom said...

I'm more pissed that they didn't own up to their horrid mistake...and the one they gave is so transparent...I've never signed a slip for my kids pics to be included in the yearbook and never had my parents too...

Dena said...

it is against the law....and i have a feeling this is going to go down much differently than the school was hoping...

Cindy said...

Wow, that yearbook is shocking. And very sad. I agree with you, how did it ever pass inspection?