BADD in Georgia
R. Larkin Taylor-Parker
56

I commend you on your desire to become an attorney! My bachelor’s degree is in pre-law, while I would have dearly loved attending law school, funding prevented that. Ah, another conversation for another day!

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying these children should be tossed away or warehoused in conditions that GNETS provided. The program should have worked, and had the proper checks and balances been in place, it could have. All I am saying, to do away with the program, places these children and mainstream children at a much higher risk of danger.

I get it that Georgia has discriminated against special needs children in general, and not just African American males. I also get it that African American males are at higher risk for placement in these programs. I do completely understand why the lawsuit was brought against the State of Georgia in the first place.What I would like to know is how the State of Georgia plans on incorporating behavioral special needs children into mainstream schools without further discrimination upon African American males and without further discrimination against special needs children in general.

My residence is in Chatham County, the shortage of teachers is such, if you have a bachelor’s degree, and it matters not the degree, you can become a teacher. Of course the BOE claims it will further prospective teacher’s education, and there are time frames for achieving educational certificates and/or degrees. In my opinion, in an already flawed system, this is a recipe for disaster.

As stated in my last post, I have a behavioral special needs grandchild. I would love more than anything that she would be normal, although that term is relative. I fear for her being placed into mainstream, I fear for the child who gets into her face and picks on her for being different, and if you know anything about middle school children, then you know this will happen. Mainstream children have their own uncalled for drama, throw the behavioral students in the mix and watch it explode. What will happen to her or any behavioral special needs child then? They will be placed into the juvenile correctional system. How will this help? If you think this will not happen to her and other behavioral special needs children, including African American males, think again. You cannot turn behavioral issues off with a switch. I wish it were that simple.

I am angry. I am angry at the State of Georgia for not taking care of the educational system for all of our children. I am angry that GNETS is so backward it failed our babies. I am angry that the State was not paying attention and the program discriminated against African American males, that it discriminated against any child. I am angry that this lawsuit had to happen to shake everything up. I truly hope that it changes things for the good, I really do. I want more than anything to be proven wrong. Time will tell.

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