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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, December 2, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesValuing a Disabled Student in the Classroom

Valuing a Disabled Student in the Classroom

Dear Source:
Along with unconditional love and sustenance, the ability to learn in a supportive environment is essential to a child’s well-being and development. Over the years we have come to recognize that children and particularly very young children have an enormous capacity to learn. Unfortunately and all too often for children with disabilities, that capacity is thwarted by an educational system that fails to engage, stimulate and value a child’s potential gifts.
For well over twenty years in the U.S. Virgin Islands, children with disabilities and their families have been engaged in a long-standing struggle for an appropriate public education with the appropriate support as required by federal and local law. While that struggle was settled in the courtroom, it has not been resolved in the classroom.
Parents are frustrated and angry by what their children and other children with disabilities are experiencing at public schools across the territory. We, at the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands are listening and recording their stories. The parents have formed a support group and what they have described is an educational system that is continuing to fail their children due to insufficient resources, inadequately prepared staff, and minimal innovation.
Parents of children with disabilities through their support groups are honing their advocacy skills, organizing themselves, and demanding greater accountability from the V.I. Department of Education.
We support them in that endeavor.
Amelia Headley LaMont Esq.
St. Croix
Editor’s note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.

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