It’s more than a bit disingenuous of Newfoundland education minister Darin King to suggest that the government did not have a plan to close the school for the deaf. Parents, family members of the children who attend the school and staff say that for a number of years, education officials have discouraged admissions in a plan to eventually eliminate the school. Now, King is saying there was no such plan. One has to wonder if he woke up on the morning of August 2nd and decided on the spur of the moment to close the school. Hardly. The least the minister can do is be honest with us.
The whole notion of integrated education is good, but we have to realize that children who are deaf have special needs, especially when they’re young and developing coping mechanisms. The school for the deaf provides that. I don’t care how well meaning a teacher in the public school system is, but with thirty kids in the classroom, a deaf child will get only minimal attention and his/her education will suffer, regardless of the presence of a well-meaning but minimally qualified (and paid) teacher’s aide.
Let’s face it, the government wanted the property. They don’t care about the kids.