October 5, 2018
Email to Staff
Good afternoon everyone,
This morning I received a letter from one of our own that made me extremely sad and somewhat angry, therefore prompting the need to write this letter. The letter in and of itself is not the sole reason for writing, but ties into things I’ve heard in schools, meetings and various other places throughout the Rutland community.
What I am writing about is how people, adults, refer to our children. I’ve heard from adults that some kids are “slow”. From others that “those kids just don’t get it.” I’ve also heard “why do we have to teach that kid.” Finally, “that those kids don’t belong here.”
All of our kids are special in their own unique ways, as are all of you. As I shared during the convocation in August, I have an I.E.P. for speech. That as a child I stuttered tremendously and still do when I get angry. We ALL have special needs in some area. We all don’t learn the same way. We all don’t do things the same way. That’s what makes us strong as a district, family and community.
I am a firm believer that our students who have I.E.P.’s for Autism, Down Syndrome, may be emotionally disturbed and/or who have experienced trauma, definitely have the ability to do great things in our schools, community and the world. I believe that a child with Autism or Down Syndrome may actually be capable of finding the cure for the multiplicity of cancers that permeate our world, taking the health and lives of those we love (my mother for example). These students may find sustainable life, reverse global warming, you name it. There are so many existing examples of these people throughout history (Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author, Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer, Tim Burton – Movie Director, Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”, Henry Cavendish – Scientist, Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist, Emily Dickinson – Poet, Paul Dirac – Physicist, Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician, Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster, Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist, Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician, Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple, Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Classical Composer, Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician, Astronomer, & Physicist, Nikola Tesla – Inventor, and many others). I believe this because, just as I am different, they are different and it’s the differences that allow us to be us and will allow them to have great success.
Our role is to love and teach EVERY child as if they may be the “one” to reach greatness. To teach them as if they are our own and I know we definitely would NOT allow some to speak about our own children as I’ve heard people talk about some. Remember, I learned how to run a school in fourth grade. I was told I needed to learn to mop. That I was told I would never …, yet here I am writing to you all.
Yes, ALL of our children have challenges. The challenges they face may not always be apparent, but they have challenges. Please take a moment to review the video I showed during the convocation as it is important to me and reflects our children and their needs. (highlight and right click on the following link to view : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTMLzXzgB_s&t=10s)
With all that said, I will NOT tolerate a lack of empathy, respect, tolerance and compassion for ALL of our children! As with the educator that wrote me, I will continue to be an advocate for ALL children, as I have no idea of who they may grow up to be and what great thing they will contribute to the world I live in andwill leave one day.
Have a nice weekend.