Inclusion WorksIn response to the current Learning...


January 02, 1994

Inclusion Works

In response to the current Learning Disabilities Association lawsuit attempting to reverse inclusion and American Federation Teachers President Albert Shanker's comment that inclusion is a recipe for educational disaster, take a moment to learn about a success story.

Franklin Elementary School in Reisterstown, guided by the support of Principal Stephen Mackert and Vice Principal Sue Hershfield, is performing inclusion almost to perfection.

Not only are the specialized and individualized services that my son requires continued at Franklin, they have actually been increased.

Under the preceding special ed program, "preclusion," my son was not recommended for physical therapy, which he so obviously requires. His need for speech therapy was constantly questioned and cut back. I fought, with letters and telephone calls, to keep and restore my son's services.

Now, under inclusion, the school is on my side, in agreement with my child's needs, and has added physical therapy to his education and treatment.

Under "preclusion," my son was bused an hour each way to a different school every year. Today, he is now in his neighborhood school with his sisters, taking music, art and gym class with his friends and neighbors.

He may not be as intellectually capable as others in his grade, but he has greatly improved his self-esteem and his desire to go to school.

As for Mr. Shanker's concern for physically disabled and disruptive learning-impaired students, they have remained in the special ed school settings that they require.

When was the last time Mr. Shanker went on a non-special ed class field trip? The last time I did, my hearing did not return for hours. On the other hand, my son's class was the quietest and most well behaved.

Three cheers for continued inclusion. This program has brought my family closer together and also eliminated our "preclusion" transportation and child-care nightmares.

Sharon Thomas


Hillary's Story

Reading Hillary Rodham Clinton's comments about the latest allegations regarding her husband's sexual improprieties, I found interesting oversight.

In her interview with the Associated Press, she called the charges "outrageous," "motivated by profit and an Arkansas attorney's dislike for Mr. Clinton" and all sorts of other characterizations.

Interestingly enough, she never flatly said that the events the zTC Arkansas state troopers described didn't happen.

Given the president's problems with the truth, that must mean she knows they did.

Chuck Frainie


Emotional Views

Martin E. Nelson's Dec. 14 Opinion * Commentary article, "Atoms for Peace," was an emotionally laden commentary.

While Professor Nelson reminds us of the early promises toward using atoms for peace, as proposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he has apparently forgotten some important lessons from these past four decades.

A quick perusal of these lessons learned can be gleaned from the recent disclosures of Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary.

From behind the green door of "national security," we are now being deluged with horrendous facts and figures regarding the handling and disposition of radioactive wastes related to the defense of our country.

The civilian nuclear industry is truly no more comforting than these newly released Department of Energy documents. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl raise a reasonable specter of doubt, even among the family faithful.

What we are presently planning to do with the millions of pounds and gallons of radioactive wastes from the nation's nuclear plans should also raise reasonable doubt regarding the ability of our government and private corporations to safely handle these deadly materials for thousands of years.

Yucca Mountain, just north of Las Vegas, is the current site of preference under study by the DOE for permanent burial of our peaceful nuclear wastes. Significant scientific controversy surrounds this politically hot site selection.

While scientific controversy is healthy, nuclear wastes are not. And that is the fundamental flaw with Professor Nelson's nostalgic attempt to equate peaceful use of nuclear energy with a cleaner global environment.

The nation's energy secretary does not appear to be convinced of our nation's ability to handle nuclear materials. Why is the good professor?

Timothy W. Foresman


The writer is professor of geography, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Slipping Through

If an aide is paid $22,000 over a 15-month period, it makes one wonder how many other "aides" have been paid a similar salary and this has just slipped through the cracks.

hirley Holgate


A Daughter Wronged

I am writing to clear my name of a great injustice done me. (I speak also for my brother.)

In Hal Piper's column "A Dumb Idea" (Dec. 25), I believe I was unfairly quoted. I am his daughter and was quoted as saying, "that's dumb Dad, really dumb," at the proposal of his idea. In reality my father mentioned the idea to me one morning before school and told me his idea.

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