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2002-03-30 - 9:35 p.m.

Tell me if this makes sense ... I have one student who has harmed himself at school on a regular basis for three years - cutting himself, piercing his lip with a safety pin, scratching his arms, etc. He gets outside counseling because his mom asked for it and he spends much of his day in the BD (behavior) unit (because he is ED), but the school counselor seems to avoid him. He's never concerned that this boy might need assistance.

I have another student who has cut himself, wrapped black electrical tape tightly around his arms under his sleeves and cut off his circulation, etc. and both the counselor and the boy's mom seem to think he's OK. Perhaps because he is GT they think he's fine. Whereas I can easily see him either killing himself or killing the rest of us. He is totally withdrawn, barely cracks a smile.

Then I have this happy-go-lucky kid who made a joke about suicide to get out of taking a science test and the counselor threw a freak bout and signed him up for all of this counseling, group sessions, deluged his mom with pamphlets, tried to get his folks to pull him out of a Saturday engineering program so he could attend extra counseling.

Here's the other weird school thing. In the last five years I've had three ED (emotionally disturbed) kids and one LD (learning diabled) kid I've proposed for the GT (gifted and talented) program. Not one has been accepted by the head of the GT department, even though we are supposed to be a fully inclusive school, meaning all programs are theoretically open to kids from all special populations. The only special education kids who are ever allowed in GT are the ones who are in SE - OHI (other health impared - like a physical handicap). Tell me that's fair! Especially since, in my humble opinion, many of the kids in SE in my district are mislabeled - I think that the fact that they are learning English in elementary and are not getting reading training at home in English causes them to be labeled learning disabled.

Mini rant.



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