"For Silly Things Like ADD..."

At a debate among candidates for school board in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), one candidate, Vinson Xavier Palathingal, while commenting on Fairfax having more students under special education than its neighboring Montgomery county, referred to ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) as a "silly thing". When called on this insensitive and offensive remark in a post on Facebook, Vinson responds, "How many lies are you saying about me? Do you understand that I was referring to ADD in my family? Omg.. may god forgive you for spreading such blatant lies for politics. You all are better than seasoned politicians and no wonder why FCPS is going down. Those who are interested in truth, please watch the video before you come to conclusions." So I did watch the video just to hear what was actually said. But one does not really need to watch the video for it is already clear in Vinson's response. A disability whether it pertains to a child within or outside one's own family is never "silly".

The enemies of equity are touting "hardwork". They easily make the claim that African American and Hipanic children are not working hard enough and for this reason, one does not see them in schools like Thomas Jefferson High School. Vinson offers a solution clearly "outside the box" to address achievement gaps based on race and income. Here is what he says in his website: "Education choices afforded by School Voucher programs in 15 states and Washington, D.C have proven to make situation better. School vouchers give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children, using all or part of the public funding set aside for their children’s education. Possibilities such as school choice and charter schools should be explored as potential solutions to this issue." And this comes from a candidate for the public school board. Vinson also defends the Advanced Academic program at Fairfax insisting that equity is simply a move toward mediocrity, while celebrating shadow school and other commercial tutor programs as possible routes for providing opportunities to all children. Vinson clearly does not subscribe to the adage that public education is a public good. Public school education is not there simply to benefit an individual, but society as well. For this reason, equity, diversity and inclusion are necessary in public education.

Of course, there are people who view public education not as a public good, but as something no different from a cereal box one can pick up from a grocery aisle. And we can respectfully disagree on that. However, with regard to disabilities, one thing should be crystal clear. A child's disability should never be treated as a joke.

Above copied from The Mighty


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