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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Oregon legislators and media have focused on the mere 32 students who attend the school full time. Many more students, parents and educators benefit from OSB.
My 18-year old son is blind. OSB has been indispensable to us for years, although my son has never attended the school as a regular student.
From k-12, our district puts all students with disabilities in one segregated classroom, if they are deemed unable to be educated in a regular classroom. There is no specialization according to disability. When we wanted my son to go to schools that specialized in his disabilities (autism and blindness), the school district pulled the “least restrictive environment” (LRE) card.
But parents like me know that “LRE” is red herring – it is simply a way for districts to save money. And this is how OSB has been slowly starved of students and resources. Not because students, teachers and families did not need the school, but because districts and the state did not want to fund it. But if you talk to students at OSB, you learn that OSB is the one place where they actually feel least restricted.
OSB is the only place where my son easily interacts with peers, when he goes to their camps each summer. Peers befriend him and students are very accepting of each other - not snobbish, or basing acceptance on phony things such as one’s appearance. When my son went to his local school, he and his self-contained classroom-mates only had contact with non-disabled peers by being in their vicinity during recess and lunch. They never inter-mingled or had interactions. Yet districts generally assert that because their school is local for the student, it is the least restrictive environment, and on that basis they decline to send students out of district.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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