Thursday, October 9, 2008


I want you to think about today’s post in the context of problem solving and not merely BISD. Yesterday was another bad day for this child at Oliveira. I will not speak to one of the specific problems because the father has yet to get the vice-principal’s side of the story. Although, the vice-principal at this point should have called the father about the problem instead of the father having to hear about it from his son.

What happened is very dangerous to the safety and welfare of the child. If I had a non-disabled child at Oliveira, I would have gone nuts on the vice-principal upon hearing the story from my child. Not because of the allegations, but because the vice-principal did not call me as the parent. It is very well possible the vice-principal’s hands were tied, as the child is claiming the vice-principal told him.

Before I get to the bigger problem at BISD, I want to address several issues facing the American people. Social Security - why can Congress not fix this problem. Congress owes Social Security nearly 2 trillion dollars. Between the needless war and the corporate welfare of the last few days Congress has spent 2 trillion dollars. Why is it if it feeds war or corporate America Congress can find the money? We all do understand this is more than enough money to address healthcare in the US. So what is the problem?

The Social Security fix is easy as pie. You pass a law which allows the government to buy US Treasury Bonds with Social Security and mandates Congress issue US Treasury Bonds to secure the 2 trillion dollars they have stolen in the past. Another option is to invest Social Security into a national oil company. Why do we give the profits from oil owned by the American people to corporations? There are only two ways to raise revenue to operate government. You tax people or you make it running a business. If Southwest can run a profitable airline, why can the government not run a national airline, oil company, bank, insurance company - etc? Why are we obsessed we limiting profit to corporations? What is their strangle hold on our economy?

Back to BISD - the problems facing special education at BISD are not complex. The problem is a lack of will to solve the problems. Not that the nightmare at BISD can be justified, but the only reason the federal courts have not taken control over Point Isabel’s school district is no one has filed the lawsuit. At the highschool level there is nothing in place in any meaningful way to address special education. I saw children who simply stare at the walls who are passed and provided no help. I knew of one girl on medication for ADHD who was denied any special accommodations. It was common knowledge the former coach charged with an inappropriate relationship with a student was just too cozy with the girls. Another teacher with impunity refers to Central American students as missing links. Point Isabel’s highschool is everything education should not be. If you were to ban handouts from the school instruction would stop.

Okay - now back to this child. If you remember the football incident - the principal’s response was "the child will be allowed to play." Fine and dandy but that was not the issue. The issue was the conduct of the coach. The even greater issue is teaching the child. Within reason the child should have to play by all of the rules, unless his disability makes compliance with the rules impossible. Further, if the child is not equipped to play, then he should not play. After last Saturdays game he told me how a student was taken from the game for not following a safety rule. Apparently they are taught that there are certain ways to not catch the football because it could lead to an injury. This is good. It is also good that if the child fails to follow the rule that the child is taken from the game.

BISD has no one on board who understands disabled does not mean granting special privileges. This child must be taught he has to work harder than anyone else. You are not helping the child by making excuses for the child. The child himself will tell you he understands this.

His disability can result in antisocial behavior. This is why it is important he be part of the school process with his fellow students. Football actually promotes good social behavior and can act as a medicine for the child. The problem is, the child can demonstrate antisocial behavior which requires correction under the supervision of a highly trained professional. There is no room for a mistake. This child has discipline in the home. He loses privileges. He is actually banned from leaving the house if he crosses the line. The father however is relying on the advice of a professional and not just acting on his own.

This is where BISD fails. They have no professionals on staff who can handle this child’s disability. I suspect without a federal court order they will not hire a professional to insure this child receives his federally constitutional protected right to an education. It is not in Superintendent Gonzales’ nature to insure those in charge are qualified to handle the problem.

Is it a complex problem? No. When the father showed me the diagnosis I went into the web pages for the Mayo-Clinic and several professional organizations. I read everything I could find on the issue. I kept two tabs open on my IE. One was a medical dictionary and the other the web page I was reading. I learned about the differential diagnostic process for this biologically based disability. I learned how over a period of months to a year the formal diagnosis can become worse or better depending on how the child responds to the medicine and therapy. I learned this child could become the doctor who cures this disease or a life-time rehab patient in one facility after another for drug addiction or even a career criminal. His future is directly tied to the acts of his parents, BISD, and doctors. Notice, I put parents first.

My question is, if I was able to spend a Saturday learning the ins and outs of this disease, including how to work with the child in an educational setting what prevents someone, anyone at BISD from doing the same? Nothing but complete incompetence. In e-mailing this post to Hector Gonzales I included several links on how to educate a child with this disability.

This child is being taught in an isolated setting in the school office. He wants to be in a classroom. BISD refuses to provide him that right. The incompetent professionals at BISD are actually encouraging the anti-social behavior this disease brings on. They are clueless and unwilling to be educated on the issue.

They are actually promoting the disease. It is as if they are injecting a new strain of the AIDS virus into the child every day. It has not occurred to the principal to educate himself about the disability. This is a biologically based disability. The principal is treating it based on his daily whims. It is malpractice. If we would not allow a doctor to ignore the protocol for treating this disease, why are we then okay with a principal or school district ignoring the established protocols? There are very well established protocols for educators when dealing with this disability. BISD simply has no one on staff with the commonsense to learn the protocols and then train the child’s teachers in the protocols.

This child needs teachers who are specifically trained in how to deal with him in the classroom. BISD’s response has been clear. They have no one trained to deal with this disability and will not spend the money to hire someone until ordered to do so by a federal judge. To be fair BISD will probably have to hire someone in Houston. On this issue there is nearly no support any where in the LRGV. There is no doubt the TEA will order the corrections. There is also no doubt Superintendent Gonzales and Art Rendon will ignore any and all orders from the TEA.

The question is, what prevents someone in the school district from compiling a booklet on how to educate a child with this disability and then training his teachers? Nothing - nothing at all. So why do they not do it? This is the great riddle. Why can government not solve any of the problems facing our society? This is the great riddle.

How did we get to the point of glorifying incompetence? Answer - it is all we know - for we have come to accept it as the new norm. No money for road repairs, but 7.5 million for a baseball stadium. I rest my case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, what happened yesterday?