When “mainstreaming” was the popular education approach for students with developmental delays, it referred primarily to putting students with special needs in an age-appropriate classroom with their peers. It was a noble approach at inclusion, but one that fell short on many levels.
Special education experts now emphasize mainstreaming and inclusion are not synonyms, as children with learning disabilities have specific needs a conventional classroom might not have the resources to handle.
Brazosport ISD’s high schools have demonstrated their understanding of the differences with programs that seek to include special needs classmates, even if they might not share classrooms. And those efforts have earned deserving recognition.
Brazosport High School recently learned it had achieved the Unified Champion School designation from Texas Special Olympics based on its inclusion efforts during the 2018-19 school year. It required implementing sports programs, whole school engagement activities and creating leadership opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities.
The school is not stopping with its statewide honor, either. It is working toward National Banner Recognition this year as a demonstration of its commitment to inclusion.
As its sister campus, we reported last spring on Brazoswood High School’s all-star basketball game, in which special needs students were coached by and participated with the school’s varsity players.
Every high school student struggles to feel they belong, and that can be especially true of those seen as “different.” That Brazosport ISD’s two high schools put such an emphasis on ensuring special needs students are an important part of the student body speaks well of the youth and adult leadership on both campuses.
Woolsey Toy Drive speaks well of namesake, organizers
We all should hope to continue having t he level of impact on our community 15 years after our passing as Natalie Woolsey.
The late Miss Teen Festival of Lights, whose SUV was laden with toys for a drive she was conducting at the time of her tragic death, continues today through the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive. It has evolved into more than a collection of Christmas gifts into an all-day festival fundraiser that attracts hundreds of people and thousands of donations.
Not everyone involved in the ongoing effort knew Woolsey or her family, but through the dedication efforts of volunteers to carry on her legacy, they certainly know about the young woman who continues to make a difference.
“She decided that she wanted to do something more than just wear a pretty crown,” said Lee Ann Hearn, Woolsey’s mother. “She wanted it to have some meaning.”
The goal for this year’s event, which took place Dec. 7, was $135,000 to meet the needs of all the families who applied for Christmas assistance. Money also goes toward a literacy effort started in Woolsey’s name.
“It’s really always the best day of the year for me,” Hearn said. “It’s just such a wonderful way to keep her legacy alive, and I just treasure that.”
Women reporters do not routinely sleep with sources
It w as bad enough that Director Clint Eastwood and others involved in the making of the big-screen feature “Richard Jewell” felt it allowable to take artistic license with a real-life reporter’s reputation. In the film, which bombed at the box office over the weekend, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is shown exchanging sex for information.
That’s pretty shameful and slanderous considering no such event ever happened.
But it didn’t stop there. A Fox News Channel host dismissed the complaint by the newspaper and journalists who took offense at the portrayal and actually made things worse.
“This happens all the time,” Jesse Watters said on “The Five,” a Fox talk show. “Ali Watkins was a reporter for many, many years at many distinguished publications. She slept with one of her sources, allegedly, for four years and broke a lot of scoops according to this Politico report here.”
Watkins was a 27-year-old New York Times reporter who had a relationship with a senior Senate Intelligence Committee aide, though no connection has been made proving she used the aide as a source in her reporting. It also was the only real-life example Watters could provide despite insisting it’s something that “happens a lot.” All other attempts to justify his claim came from fictional TV and movies, not real life.
“I do have a problem with what you said,” liberal co-host Juan Williams told Watters. “I don’t think that most women reporters ...”
Watters backtracked to how common it is for women reporters to use their sexuality to get the story. He pointed out men could use the tactic, too.
No, sir. It does not happen routinely among reporters of either gender. Given our current climate where people can say the most obnoxious untruths with no factual basis without consequence, we don’t expect Watters to apologize.
Sadly, we also don’t expect as many people to be bothered by his characterization of women as should be.