Letter to the Editor – Think of disabled students when voting, too


Dear Editor;
I am a mother of 4 children. 3 of my children have already graduated from Fort Madison and my youngest is disabled. I am hoping that everyone who reads this will at least try to step out of the box and consider looking at this issue from a different angle. We all want what’s best for our kids. So here is what I is feel best for mine and other’s like mine. My son is 11 years old and has attended Fort Madison school district his entire school life. He has very mild Cerebral Palsy with left side hemiparesis from a stroke he had at 3 weeks of age. Along with that comes other disabilities such as seizure disorder, hydrocephalus, Adhd, dysgraphia etc. My son attended Lincoln and now the middle school. The elementary schools are extremely hot at the school year end and beginning. My son has hydrocephalus which is fluid on the brain. It causes headaches and confusion and sometimes sends my son into a seizure especially in hot conditions. My son had to be in school to learn regardless of what the heat did to him.

As I have said he has mild Cerebral Palsy which means he may not be able to have a job with physical demands but we can educate him to have a career someday that uses his mind.

Now imagine the fluid on your brain heating up first to a headache, then confusion, then a seizure. Kids with disabilities should have a right to an education like every other kid and they should not be forced to be in a school that forces them to become physically ill and not get the most of the education being taught because of a small raise in taxes.

Now put yourself in any kids place. How much could you possibly absorb when you are so hot all you can think of is escaping? I invite you to walk into either of the schools on a mild 85 degree day and see how hot it is and how fast you want to escape.

Now put yourself in place of the teachers. They are trying to keep approximately 25 kids focused and some with disabilities in the hot classroom while also trying to keep cool.

If the public wants to know what’s best for the district, ask the kids who deal with it daily or a teacher who has to figure out how to teach in these conditions. Better yet get a pair of crutches and go up and down the steps in Richardson and see how safe you feel getting up and down them. I’m begging you to step outside of the box and see this proposal from ALL sides including the disabled, the teachers, parents, and the community. Please don’t vote on what you think you know! If you have questions ask! Their are plenty of people including the kids willing to talk. We can’t expect to tell our children to “look it up” if we as adult guess what’s best rather than find the facts and look at every angle.

Jennifer Forbes,

Fort Madison

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