Good morning everybody, Alex Roberts here. It’s not even 5:00 a.m. where I am. I hate those nights when you can’t sleep or when your body decides to be its own alarm clock. The only thing that is really on tv at this hour of the morning seems to be infomercials or SVU reruns. With my limited options I thought I might include you, my readers, in the start to my day. It does not matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic or Asian. You are all welcome to join me this morning. It does not even matter if you are male or female. You are all welcome to join me for my discussion this morning. That is how inclusivity works. As I sit here with my first cup of coffee this morning I find myself thinking upon that word, inclusivity. Lets have a really good look at that word. What it means, what it does to others, and what it allows to happen.
Inclusivity. It’s a noun. Apparently it’s considered a thing since its not a person or place. According to the definition that turns up on the Bing search engine the definition of inclusivity is as follows, “an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.” They also provide it in a sentence to show us how to properly use it that reads, “you will need a thorough understanding of inclusivity and the needs of special education pupils”
Many people can remember from when they were younger how it felt to not be included in things. I remember when I was in ROTC I was on the unarmed drill team. I was on that team all four years of high school. My freshman year I was an alternate. There was a spot on the primary team that needed filled. The person who held that spot was not coming to the practices and able to fulfill her obligations to the team like they needed her to. I don’t know if it was her fault and she was just choosing not to come to the team practices. It shouldn’t really matter if whether or not you can fulfill your obligations to the team that you are on is your fault or not.
As an alternate who wanted to become a primary I attended practice every day. At first I’ll be honest. I wasn’t that good. My timing was off. I was struggling with some of the basics. I was only a freshman. These others on the team had at least a year or more of experience over me. But I won them over with hard work, loyalty, and dedication to the team. Team commander D.L. had her concerns about whether or not I could do it at first. I remember team member and Alpha company commander H.C. telling D.L. I would get it. He assured her I was getting better and could do this. I knew I could do it. He knew I could do it. I just needed to work a little harder.
I would come to school early and train with various cadets before our early bird ROTC class even started. I would give up time on my lunch break to train. I stayed after school for the team practices. All of my hard work and dedication to the team paid off because I got good at what I was doing. I don’t want to be one to brag, but I got really good at what I was doing. I was so good in fact that the team commander D.L. gave me the primary spot that cadet first sergeant L.J. had not been able to fulfill the obligations to. As a freshman cadet I was welcomed by these older cadets as one of their own. I felt so proud at how good I had become.
When L.J. learnt that she had been reduced to an alternate and that I had been given her spot it did not sit well with her at all. Instead of accepting the team commanders decision she went to the army instructor U.S. army retired first sergeant C.S. to complain to him about it. He stood by the team commander and would not make D.L. change her decision. L.J. took things further up the chain of command and took her complaint to the battalion SAI U.S. army retired colonel R.L. No relation to D.L. I wish I could say that this story has a happy ending for me, but it doesn’t. The Colonel made the team commander give L.J. her spot as a primary back and include her on the team.
Since there were only nine primary spots and she was to be included on the team I am pretty sure it is easy to guess who got excluded. Me. That one morning affected most of my high school experience. What the Colonel taught me that morning was that things like hard work and dedication really mean nothing. I put my heart and soul into becoming a primary that year. Weeks and hours of hard work and team loyalty in the end meant nothing, because everything that I had worked for had been taken from me and given to someone who wasn’t eve there. That was the day I made a bad decision. I stopped trying for a long time. Not just in ROTC, but at school in general. I stopped doing my school work and let my grades go.
What was the point of it all? I mean seriously what was the point of all that time that I put in just to have it taken from me three days before a competition that I had been promised I would compete in? I could have been a good team member and supported the rest of the team, but you don’t really think about others when your heart and guts have just been ripped out by those who you’ve dedicated yourself to. I can still remember the look in D.L.’s eyes when she gave me the news. She wasn’t happy about it, neither was the team. As for me I took a bitter happiness in seeing them lose that competition without me. I’m not saying that I was the missing link to a victory or anything, because truth be known the other teams were really good as well. I’m just saying that I felt a bitter happiness watching them lose.
That day when team commander D.L. had to rip my heart and guts out impacted me for years. That was my first experience with inclusivity. Inclusivity left me excluded. The Colonel and L.J. would have done great in the current climate that our country finds itself in. This may sound silly to some, but I’ve never really forgiven the Colonel for the decision he made that lead to D.L. doing what was told to do. As far as D.L. and the rest of the team go I didn’t blame her or them. She had to follow orders. I didn’t even blame the A.I. because he had to follow orders to. The sole responsibility for the decision that impacted me as strongly as it did sat on the shoulders of the old man. The Colonel himself.
What happend to me and how my hard work means nothing makes it easy for me to empathize with what a group of high school students must be feeling now. A school in East Hanover, New Jersey is teaching their own students the same lesson the Colonel taught me. That things like hard work and being good at what you do mean nothing. They did this when they passed a rule that stated, “everyone makes the team or no one does.” In an age of entitlement where everyone gets a trophy for participating and the only thing that is really required for our son or daughter to make the honor roll is that they be able to breathe while maintaining a body temperature somewhere in the mid 90s such a rule shouldn’t surprise anyone.
The change in policy occurred because one parent complained that their child did not make the team. The complaint of one parent made the hard work of so many others who were good enough to make the team mean nothing. During a Board of Education meeting one angered student named Stephanie Krueger had the following to say, “all my hard work has been thrown out the window. I tried my hardest. Now everything is going away all because of one child who did not make the team, and their parent complained.” The poor girl is absolutely right. Her hard work much like my own 23 years ago means nothing.
The school does not deny that the change in policy is directly connected to the mothers complaint as they defend their decision. In a statement that the school released to the public responding to the outrage they said, “In order to facilitate a more inclusive program, the alignment between the various cheerleading squads would be modified to allow all interested students to be able to participate. This decision was made in the best interest of all students and was made to be as inclusive as possible.”
When parents of the cheerleaders who actually had to work hard to make the team and the cheerleaders themselves asked the school to recall their judgment the Principal took a firm stance and made it clear. Everyone makes the team or there would be no team at all. This is the work of liberals at their best. Someone needs to put this entitled student in their place and let it be known that hard work and discipline still matter.
Inclusivity does not just ruin team experiences for our children. If this were the case then I would not be talking to you about it right now. It puts our children in danger and ruins jobs for people to the point that they feel they have no other option, but to quit because of it. Theresa May used to be a first grade teacher in the state of South Carolina. One student made her make the decision to quit.
This students behavior was not like the other students. He would lose his temper over the smallest things. When he lost his temper his behavior often times would turn violent. Sometimes toward himself. Other times against the other students. He would hit himself in the head, throw himself against the sink, jump off the desks and shelves, throw pencils and crayons at the other students, and toss backpacks from where they belonged.
While trying to protect her other students by gathering them together on the rug or having them stand out in the hallway she would try to talk him down. Every day was mayhem. This kind of behavior did not allow a learning environment where the other students could receive the education that they were entitled to. Out of frustration for the fact that the school administration wouldn’t do more to protect her and her students while allowing there to be an educational environment that they were safe in and could learn from her she quit her job the following year.
Teachers in Colorado face similar problems. For parent Ben Wankel, having his son sent home early from school became an every day thing. His son has autism. As someone who is on that spectrum due to aspergers I am able to empathize with his son to some degree. It is also easy for me to try to empathize with Ben Wankel himself. There were times when his son would leave the classroom causing the teacher or an aide to run after him. Other times he became violent hitting, kicking, throwing things. Last semester alone his son was suspended on six different occasions. His son attends REACH charter school in Denver. Their mission is to provide an education to students with disabilities along side students who are not disabled.
Even though disabled students make up less than ten percent of the student population in grades kindergarten through second grade they account for almost one third of the 6,080 detentions that were given to students. In Colorado once a special needs student has been suspended or removed from class ten times there are special protections that kick in on favor of the student. One problem is that not every parent wants this protection for their children.
Khafilah Malik is the mother of a 5 year old son. Her son has autism, anxiety, and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and is a student at Odyssey School. Due to his love for science she felt that Odyssey might be a good fit for her son. Often times her son would have melt downs during fire drills, when the teacher would change lesson plans, or when he was not allowed to sit next to a friend of his. When he was not given his way he would turn violent. He would hit, knock over chairs, run, throw papers, and scream. By her own admission this parent would have continued to allow other students to have their education disrupted and find themselves put in danger of physical injury if the school had kept an official count of suspensions. She did not want her son labelled as an angry, aggressive, African American male child. In order to keep her son from being labelled she would have allowed the others to be put at risk.
Thankfully no injuries were discovered reported in My research for this article. After attending a district run school for a month Malik’s son was transferred to Tennyson Center for Children. Her son seems to be doing much better in his new environment where he sits in a class that only has six students. Students down in a Florida town that America is more than familiar with after the events of February 14, were not as lucky.
It is believed that the culture of leniency that inclusivity produces allowed Nicholas Cruz to slip through the cracks of the system. Everyone by now knows who Nicholas Cruz is. He is the person that is responsible for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. A Florida news source called The South Florida Sun Sentinel uncovered that Nicholas Cruz had been suspended a minimium of 67 times while he was in middle school. Instead of Nicholas Cruz being separated from others in the student population and receiving the help that he needed his behavioral issues transferred with him from middle school into his high school years.
Florida school officials are trying to claim that Cruz was referred to a mentoring program that was meant to steer him to a life away from criminal justice system during his middle school years. They further clarified that he was referred to the program during the 2013 school year but he did not fully participate. Then when he reached high school he did not participate at all. It is not known why Nicholas Cruz did not complete the three days in the program that had been assigned to him after he vandalized a school bathroom while he was a middle school student.
In response to the program Meadow Pollack’s brother Hunter Pollack tweeted the following.
“@RobertwRuncie another lie you told is exposed… The PROMISE program you implemented into our schools allowed 18-1958 to stay in the @browardschools. It cost 17 lives. Our school board is filled with compulsive liars. This must stop.#FIXIT”
Instead of taking these troubled kids and separating them from other students the program was meant to be inclusive. When people like Nicholas Cruz are meant to be in the juvenile court system this program tries to include them in society with the hope of helping them develop pro-social skills, improve academically, and address family or community issues that may be factors causing these people to act out. The Broward County school systems lenient discipline was used to showcase lower suspensions, expulsion, and arrest rates and more kids graduating from high school. Children in the program are allowed to act out and not be considered a repeat offender as long as they don’t commit the same offense twice in the same year. In other words its okay that you did something wrong this year, because next year if you do the same thing wrong it will still count as the first time since it wasn’t in the same year.
One teacher who was loyal to the county for 37 years was finally forced into retirement out of fear for her own safety. Mary Fitzgerald said that there were many incidents that lead to her choosing to retire when made the following statement, ““It was so many things. I had three students bring knives to my classroom. One was out of the classroom for one day. Another had so many things on his record, he was gone for five days. None were expelled. My principal basically would tell me it was his job to market the school. He was adamant about not looking bad.”
Despite the horrors that they choose to hide from us about inclusivity while they force feed it down the throats of America this attitude seems to be a common theme for them. They don’t care about what happens to anyone else as long as they look good. Until changes are made then may whatever tears an innocent cries, blood an innocent spills, be turned upon those who practice inclusivity and their entire family ten fold.