The Truth of the Matter
by Tricia & Calvin Luker, Our Children Left Behind,
October 13, 2003
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Left Behind has been up and serving American families and
organizations with information on the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] reauthorization process since
May. We have tried over these past five months to give straight
and accurate information on the process, and to inspire families
and organizations to contact Congress directly with their
stories about IDEA and their concerns about the proposed
changes. We think that our efforts to this point, along with the
direct efforts of families and consumer based advocacy groups
across the country, have prompted members of Congress,
especially the Senate, to hear the voices of the 6.5 million
American children and their families who have the most direct
stake in IDEA remaining alive and strong.
At the same time we have remained concerned that we haven’t
communicated how dire the threat to IDEA really is, and how
strong the opposition is to our efforts to save IDEA.
Congressmen Boehner and Castle helped publicize the force of the
threat against IDEA last April 29th when they dedicated the
official web site of the House of Representative’s Committee on
Education and the Workforce to a message warning their
congressional colleagues that parents and family lobbyists would
be calling them that day to lie to them and to deceive them
about HR 1350. Representatives Boehner and Castle showed
families what they really thought about our efforts to save
This past week we received another “wake up” email that we share
with you now. This is for everyone who thinks that we families
have beaten back the threats against IDEA. This email also is
for anyone who ever wonders, as we have, what the “other side”
is saying or thinking about IDEA or its proposed revisions.
Finally, this email is for those who have meant to write
something to their Senators, but haven’t gotten to it yet
because of the press of other life issues. We want you to feel
the venom of our opposition, and help you to become angry enough
yourself to do all you can to save IDEA.
Here is the email we received. We have printed it here exactly
as we received it. The author signed a full name to the email,
and titled it “The truth of the matter …”
It is people like you who are destroying education. Teachers who
otherwise would be implementing good educational programs are
saddled with mounds of paperworks, taken out for the god damn
meetings your law requires, and threatened with lawsuits. The
idea that a lawyer has any idea what constitutes an appropriate
education, especially compared to a teacher, is obscene. And
while there are many good parents with special needs children,
there are many children who have special needs because of their
parents drug abuse and poor parenting skills. Clearly these
parents should not be able to threaten educational professionals
with lawsuits. They should just be happy that their child is
getting an education, which is ultimately a privilege, not a
right. I can only hope that this year or in the near future,
laws are passed that crush the goals of organizations such as
yours like a tin can under the foot of an elephant.
We are tempted to do a point-by-point response to this email.
Doing so, however, clearly won’t change the author’s mind. But
for those of us who wonder what the “other side” is saying, this
email says it pretty well.
The ball remains in our court. This email is perfect fodder for
our “Three Friends Campaign” which OCLB launched last week.
Share it with your family and friends. Show them a true picture
of those who are fighting us on IDEA, and who are trying to
steal back our hard-earned gains.
Anyone who wonders about the strength of the threat to IDEA need
only look to this email to justify the reality of the threat. We
hope, however, that sharing it with you makes you as angry as it
makes us, and inspires you to work even harder to spread the
word about how much our children need IDEA, and how hard the
other side is fighting to kill it. We cannot rest as long as the
issue remains in Congress. Our children are depending on us. For
their sake, we cannot let this email writer win.
Tricia and Calvin Luker
Copyright 2003 by Tricia and Calvin Luker. Permission to
forward, copy and post this article is granted so long as it is
attributed to the authors and
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