Letters to the Editor: April 4, 2014

other_letters_editorSpecial-needs bill elicits parent retort

As I sit here trying to compose a letter to express my disappointment that the special-needs bill failed, I’m finding it difficult to concisely describe the gamut of emotions I feel. Sadness, anger, disappointment, frustration, fear – those make a good start.

Sadness because we as parents are left with no alternative but a school system that has admitted they can’t adequately meet the needs of my child and others like him. Until recently, my district has been touted as the educational standard to aspire to in our state. They are one of the few districts in this state who even have a program designed to help my son, but even that isn’t enough.

• Anger because the cries of the people who are desperate for help were ignored by elected officials.

• Disappointment because I had a glimmer of hope that maybe my wife and I would be able to find an alternative that would allow my son to stay on par with his peers.

• Frustration because all of those who were against the bill have submitted no alternative legislation or even offered a compromise. Their only answer has been “Just wait.” It’s been over 40 years since this battle began – how much longer do they expect us to wait?!

• Fear because our officials aren’t listening to the needs of the ones that put them into office and I don’t know what recourse I’m left with.

Our own governor put out a written plea to our lawmakers to vote in favor of this bill, and a majority of them refused to listen to him. The governor is, like my son, dyslexic, and whom this bill could have benefited if he were still in school.

I have a faith that I cling to, especially in times like these, but that doesn’t always remove the emotional affects of discouraging events. I would like to have faith in this state, but I am rapidly losing hope that they care enough to actually fix the problems in our education system. Maybe one day our torch will ignite some compassion in our legislators’ hearts. But my hope in that is failing.

But I know this: election day approaches.

John McCustion

Tupelo