This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
To the editors:
Paul Vallas and the School Reform Commission need to take note. Upon reading your ‘Eye on Special Education’ piece titled ‘Special education: bastion of apartheid" (Summer 2004,reprinted from Fall 1994), I found it pitiful to see that nothing has changed in the past 10 years since that column was first published in your paper. Hana Sabree’s article could have been written yesterday.
The only thing truly different is that Hassan is now 24 and out of the hands of the School District. Despite the attitude of his previous educators, he’s gone on to become a fine, independent young man. Thank God, his mother wouldn’t take "no" for an answer.
What about other families who want the same things for their children? The Philadelphia School District needs to wake up and move forward. Learn how to educate ALL children together so each can become a full contributing member of the community in which he or she lives.
Martine M. DeLorenzo