« IQ Testing for Nonverbal Abilities Yields Dramatically Improved Scores for Children with Autism | Main | New Graduation Law for Students with Special Needs »

February 22, 2006


Daunna Minnich

Attitude. It's all about attitude. Georgia sees its youth offenders as society's garbage and turns its back on them—after manacling them to desks in classrooms where there is no expectation that they will learn because, after all, they are just garbage. Why spend money on books for throw-away kids? The only investment Georgia seems to be making is to make certain these kids learn their lesson: "You are garbage." What a worthless investment, designed to ensure that when the "garbage" is released back into society, it will live by the lessons it has learned and foul society even more. Georgia will need to build more dumps.

Something is rotten in Georgia, all right: it's their attitude toward youth offenders. Georgia could get a real whiff of fresh air by visiting Missouri. Missouri has its share of kids who have fouled society, but Missouri doesn't see them as garbage to be dumped, but more as "recyclables" who can be reshaped and remade into worthwhile human "products" and put back into society where they can do something useful, for themselves and their community. The "recycling," or rehabilitation, involves small homelike living facilities, lots of therapy, educational services based on assessment and need, well-educated, well-trained personnel—and no manacles.  Doing right by these youth offenders costs far less than the "garbage" approach, and the recidivism rate gives Missouri bragging rights. Three cheers for Missouri: what an attitude!

(Learn about Missouri's "Culture of Caring" at http://www.connectforkids.org/node/3381.  My harsh words aren't intended as Georgia-bashing. My own state of California thinks the "I" in IEP means locking students in individual cages—actually, any individual can have one and save the trouble of evaluating for an IEP.  Teachers are so scarce or demoralized that California's 180-day school year is ignored by the Youth Authority.)


Many students hide behind the IEP. When they get out of school, the real world and judges dont care they were IEP student, so they get a real consequence perhaps for the first time in their life, called prison.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Me


Clients' Testimonials

Become a Fan