Birds Of A Feather: Disability Mocking Trump Picks JERK Who Picked On Disabled Kids For Atty. Gen.
Donald Trump Takes Another Swipe At The Disabled
Donald Trump has proved himself time and again to be no friend to the disabled.
There was, that stunning moment when he openly mocked a disabled reporter on national television. And then the multiple lawsuits were uncovered. Donald Trump fought against accommodations for the disabled in many of his properties. In fact, Trump believed providing accommodations for the disabled was simply too costly.
And that makes his attorney general pick just that much more disturbing.
Back in 2000, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions put his finger squarely on what he believed to be the root cause of all evil in our American school system.
The Actual Statement On Disabled Children From The Senate Floor
From his statement, read on the floor of the Senate, on May 18, 2000:
I am going to share some thoughts today, and those in education in any state of America will know what I am saying is true. They will have heard these kinds of examples time and time again. But the vast majority of Americans will not believe it; they will not believe these things occur.
Over 25 years ago, for example, we passed a federal disabilities act. It was designed to mandate to school systems and require that they not shut out disabled kids from the classroom and that they be involved in the classroom. If they have a hearing loss, or a sight loss, or if they have difficulty moving around, in a wheelchair, or whatever, the school system must make accommodations for them. They would be mainstreamed. They would not be treated separately.
Sessions goes on to say that it’s certainly a good goal to have, this idea that all children should be treated equally. But Sessions believes that certain goals aren’t always rooted in reality.
Like the goal of equality and inclusivity.
Disabled Kids Have Led To The ‘Decline Of Civility’ In The Classroom
Sessions seems to believe that these goals of including disabled children led to the downfall of civility and discipline in the classroom.
“But in the course of that time, we have created a complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America. I say that very sincerely.”
And if you ask Jeff Sessions, he’s not the only one who believes this. Teachers, he states, believe the inclusion of children with disabilities have led to the downfall of the civilized classroom. He traveled around schools in Alabama. Sessions specifically asked teachers how problematic pesky disabled children are in the classroom.
“Teachers I have been talking to have shared stories with me. I have been in 15 schools around Alabama this year. I have talked to them about a lot of subjects. I ask them about this subject in every school I go to, and I am told in every school that this is a major problem for them. In fact, it may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.”
According to Sessions, “we have children we cannot control because of this federal law.”
Sessions Takes Offense To Accommodations In The Classroom
Sessions seems bothered by the idea that children with special needs are often treated differently than children without special needs.
Go ahead and let that sink in. Not only does it bother him that disabled kids are mainstreamed. It bothers him that they are given accommodations.
“Teachers who have been trained with masters’ degrees in special education to deal with these children have also overwhelmingly told me this is not a healthy thing, that we are telling special children with physical disabilities, or disabilities as defined by the federal law, that they don’t have to adhere to the same standards other children do. Right in the classroom, we create, by federal law, two separate standards for American citizens. You can say to one child: You can’t do this, you are out of school. But we can say to another children: You can do it, and you are only out 10 days, or maybe 45 days, and then you are back in the classroom. That is not defensible.”
It is defensible, actually, in a number of different ways. The idea that non-typical children should be held to the same standards, without accomdations, as typically developing children is absurd.
But Sessions disagrees. He is horrified and offended that these disabled children – these “annoyances” – are held to a different standard.
Sessions Actively Fought Against Classroom Equality
Even more disturbing is the fact that Sessions actively fought against equality in schools earlier in his career. The Huffington Post reports:
“Sessions’ comments about disabled students appear to be drawn from his own experience as Alabama’s attorney general. In the mid 1990s, Sessions fought school equality after a judge ruled on behalf of about 30 of the state’s poor school districts who sought reforms. The case continued to languish in the courts while disability advocates worried that the poorest school systems didn’t have enough to fund the bare essentials for special needs students, according to a New York Times account. The case ended in 1997 ― after Sessions won a senate seat.”
So you can, almost without a doubt, place the disabled into a category of people that Jeff Sessions will not protect as Attorney General. He didn’t in Alabama, he didn’t in the Senate, and, working for a president who is, himself, openly anti-disability, we should expect nothing but the worst.
And pair this pick with anti-disabilities Donald Trump’s pick for education, we’ve got a recipe for educational disaster.
Jeff Sessions Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Donald Trump Photo via Youtube (note: video makes false assertions), Child in wheelchair photo by China Photos/Getty Images.