Not a Crime

Kids need help to reach their full potential

Today’s guest author is Vickie Jarosz. Vickie is a stay at home mom from Peachtree City Georgia. She is the parent to four children (adopted) who suffered exposure to drugs and alcohol in-utero. Two of our kids were adopted from foster care have added issues from suffering early child trauma. Vickie has been persistent in working with teachers and therapists to help her three older kids navigate public and private school through to high school graduation. She is currently an advocate for her 12 year old son who struggles PTSD, Intellectual And Developmental disabilities and is placed in an adaptive classroom at his middle school.

Being black isn’t a crime, nor is being intellectually delayed or having learning differences that are challenging teachers every day. We must treat all children in a way that promotes guiding them to their best selves; to reach their full potential. These precious children should not be held in the most negative light because of their challenges. Kids with IEPs and inconsistent behavioral regulation (mostly due to trauma experienced or physical injury) are not cared for by best practices because it’s either too expensive or staffing and training are lacking. So we find them locked in a building or a classroom with similar kids, languishing without any real academic progress or peer role models to observe. These kids are already struggling. Placing them in exclusionary settings only magnifies their differences, Lowers their self-esteem and creates within them a desperate need to belong, and to be valued.

The negative impact on society is grand. Typical kids, the ones who are capable of learning without modification or accommodation are growing up together, but without having to include or discover how to build relationships with, or care for and about kids who are hidden behind walls, and snuck through the hallways as if they have some sort of communicable disease. As they all become adults, the excluded continue to be ostracized due to the mainstreamed never having them grow up in their communities. It’s a damn shame! This nation can and should do better. Teach our children how to love and respect each other in spite of their differences. Amongst the typical peers are kids who would most definitively rise to the occasion. They would befriend, include, work with, tutor, care about, and build relationships with the vulnerable if only they had an opportunity and guidance. Even if some students may need a contained classroom, typical kids would be a great asset as role models and friends by entering those contained classrooms for a portion of the day and become a true student peer.

When differences are consistently magnified through separation and exclusion, a negative connotation is attached to those who are separated. ‘They don’t belong with the rest of us. Something must be wrong with them.’

Banner photo credit: http://www.JobsForFelonsHub.com

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