COPAA Condemns NEA Pres. Remarks: Urges NEA to Embody Good Work of Teachers to Support All Students
Monday, November 30, 2015
Posted by: Denise Marshall
Teachers are the front line of service for every student and the reason any child receives a quality and appropriate education. Teachers are also the eyes and ears for many parents whose children cannot speak, see or at times accurately report what is going on during their school day. Consequently, there was horror, angst and disgust felt this past weekend when Lily Esklesen Garcia, the President of the National Education Association gave a speech about all the tasks teachers do and then, she listed adapting curriculum for the “chronically ‘tarded” and the “medically annoying” as part of her list.
While students with disabilities may, at times, require more individual attention than other students disparaging comments about their needs or their disabilities is neither funny nor appropriate. There is no room for the head of the largest association of teachers to make such comments – even if with good intentions – when she speaks for the first providers who interact with our children every day.
Our children will not be successful without good teachers. We applaud and support their efforts. We recognize the extra steps many take on a daily basis to support students with disabilities to learn and to grow. The message from their leadership needs to embody the good work of their teaching professionals and the care, strength and commitment teachers bring to all students, including those with disabilities.
NEA President Remarks
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit unparalleled peer-to-peer network of attorneys, advocates, parents and related professionals dedicated to protecting and enforcing legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families at the national, state and local levels.
COPAA is premised on the belief that every child has the right to high-quality education and an equal opportunity to achieve his or her full academic potential. States, school districts and schools have an obligations under federal and state law to ensure that each student receives an individualized education that prepares them for work, college, and participation in his or her chosen community.
We work to increase the quality and quantity of advocate and attorney representation. We believe the key to accessing individualized, effective educational programs is assuring that students with disabilities and their parents are equal members of the educational team.