You would think mankind has gotten past callously overlooking some but you’d be wrong.
While it is fair to say things are undeniably better than they were in 1960, 1940 or 1920 the dark opening I used above is in reference to Shoreline Jr. High School in Layton, UT. Education at this stage can be cruel and callous – it certainly was for me – but the bunch of bozos in charge here have taken things to a new low, specifically, with how they treated a disabled student.
I wish I was making this up, but on Wednesday N.B.C News and a number of other outlets reported Morgyn Arnold was left out of a photo of the school cheerleading team which was used in the yearbook. Morgyn has Down syndrome, has been left out before and in this instance the photographer actually took a photo with her included, sent her away, snapped a second one and then was part of a chain of stupidity which had the gall to not make sure everyone was involved.
It was called a mistake, to also be fair. But in this instance, why take two photos to begin with? What does it suggest about what people think of this young lady and what does it suggest about how people at this facility value those different from others through no faults of their own?
One wonders whether they warehouse the different in a separate and secluded room? I can remember this from my youth and recall with crystal-clear memory one of the assistants to those folks saying “they don’t really matter” and would all end up in “disposable and menial labour.”
Perhaps officials are physically abusing people when no one is watching as well? To be fair – and to avoid a lawsuit from the confederacy of dunces down in the Beehive State – there is no evidence of this, but when your culture leads to the above happening, who knows what else can?
The bottom line is if this were a common child with no unique characteristics who went through the same experience, officials would be bending over backwards twice to make it right. The same can be said of segregated classrooms, abuse and other horrors we accept or have an ambivalence towards when they happen to the disabled. These people matter just as much as myself, my wife, our friends, her family and the neighbors who make up our street composition.
The photos should be retaken, the people involved in the “mistake” should quit or get some sense knocked into them and the world needs to become a less cruel and callous place. Wishful thinking on my part, I am sure, but too much more of this nonsense will drive me insane.
Top image via Flickr.