Readers Write (May 5): Student disabilities, guns, marriage, Pakistan, student housing, child care union

  • Updated: May 4, 2013 - 5:16 PM

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Don’t judge teachers’ discipline too harshly

I was disheartened by the April 28 article “Disabled students face dangerous discipline.” I’ve substituted in many special-needs classrooms and can attest that the teachers and aides were some of the sweetest people I’ve ever worked with. The almost-barbaric atmosphere of special-education classrooms that the article painted contrasted mightily with my experiences. The work of the dedicated teachers in this field is among the most taxing and emotionally draining in our schools.


• • •

Treating kids with special needs requires consistency between school and home. Schools cannot account for behaviors learned and allowed at home. Nor can they shape kids’ behaviors if parents won’t support the work at school. Parents shouldn’t allow disrespect of school personnel but instead should work with them. By the same token, schools need to teach directive guidance to students so they respond to rules and do their best to conform.


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As a mother of a son with disabilities, I encourage the newspaper to use “people first” language. The article’s headline could have read “Students with disabilities face dangerous discipline” instead of “Disabled students face dangerous discipline.” The first line could have read “A 10-year-old boy with autism …” instead of “A 10-year-old autistic boy …” Everyone deserves to be acknowledged first for who they are rather than with a label.

RUTH OLSON-BAHE, Annandale, Minn.

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Equally controversial, and yet at Capitol …

How interesting that the Legislature won’t vote on the “politically charged” issue of gun control but will likely ram down our throats a law allowing gay marriage, also a “politically charged” issue.

BOB HART, Inver Grove Heights

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I feel sympathy for legislators struggling with the question of same-sex marriage. However they vote, they’ll face negative reactions. Of course, I will be furious if my state denies me the right to marry the man I’ve lived with for more than a quarter of a century. But I will be even more angry at legislators who dodge their responsibility to do more than rubber-stamp constituent opinions.

JEFF MOSES, Minneapolis

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