Favorite

Education System Should Serve All 

'Rick Gray's Back Page (“Schooling Ourselves,” March 4) cries out for rebuttal. In the '40s, I lived in a neighborhood that included a family with a son about my age who had a cleft palate and cleft lip. He attended a special school, and the adults of the community, his parents included, encouraged us to shy away from this boy who was different. He lived in isolation from the rest of us who fought and played together every day. And we viewed him as someone to be shunned and ignored.

In the '50s and '60s, I lived in a rural area. The family of a friend who lived about a half mile from us included a younger brother with severe cerebral palsy. With the exception of periodic trips to Children's Hospital and frequent trips to the faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman, this boy lived in isolation from the world around him. Billy would intensely watch our chess games in his wheel chair and heavy metal braces. He usually recognized our mistaken moves before we did and, despite his inability to talk, would let us know. And yet, he had no access to formal education. This robust and athletic family lived in isolation from the community around it, struggling with its problem on their own, gradually succumbing to the ravages of overwhelming need and limited supports.

Surely we have moved beyond the time when success for the majority comes at the expense of the minority. We are stronger when all of us are supported. We are weaker when we climb over others to assure our own success.
Reed Henderson
Richmond

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Noncitizens have the same constitutional rights as anyone else to not have their children ripped away.
    • Jun 26, 2018
  • OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    Despite promises to be different, Mayor Stoney wants to reward Stone Brewing with a $20 million sweetheart deal that includes demolishing an historical structure.
    • Jul 3, 2018
  • OPINION: Failing the Test

    OPINION: Failing the Test

    If educators object to standardized testing, the answer is not to cheat but to find ways to teach the next generation about honesty.
    • Jul 10, 2018
  • More »

Copyright © 2018 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation