Susan's Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2007

With Feelin’

All you gotta do to join is to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar.
–Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

Here is a good letter you all can copy and adapt to whatever situation is going on where you live. The only way to make changes is to make the changes happen. I am not Yogi Berra; this is true. One good way to raise consciousness is to write for your local paper. Raise the issues that piss you off. If you see school officials dissing special education, object. Tell the public instead about all the good special education does. Tell them any positive growth your own child has had because of your town’s efforts. Tell them people are not being “overdiagnosed,” they are now being picked up before they would otherwise slip through the cracks.

To the Editor:

I hope that there was a different context to [insert elected official or school administrator’s name] comments on special education (SPED) costs last meeting. It sounded as if the school department is beating up on special education, and the special needs families feel that as an extra hardship in their lives. What’s more, it makes no sense at all legally to imply we are not going to be able to sustain these cost increases much longer. We are legally required to. We are morally required to.

I’d like to see exactly where the SPED money goes as well, all the good it does. But the way it is presented in the budget time and again it is one big category, “Special Education.” Special Education is many many things: aides, adapted curricula, speech/language pathologists, reading specialists, learning center teachers, private placements, behavioral specialists, psychologists, excellent programs like [insert program name here], and the list goes on and on. I have been saying for years that what there should be is a presentation of the many different programs in special education and the good they have done. But [so-and-so’s] comments made it sound as if the school department resents those programs and their costs. By the way, why not the same breast-beating over the 12-15% increases in healthcare insurance for educators and town workers?

I would suggest that you try to set it right for your constituents and colleagues.

Sincerely [Disappointedly, I’m-Going-To-Run-Against-You-Next-Election],
You, the outraged.

There’s power in the pen, right? And there’s power in numbers. It’s like what Arlo Guthrie said:

You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.

And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? They may think it’s an organization!

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . . walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? Friends, they may think it’s a MOVEMENT, and that’s what it is: THE ALICE’S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! . . . and all you gotta do to join is to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar. With feelin.’

1 comment

I listen to Alice’s Restaurant in its entirety (as if there was any other way) every Thanksgiving. It is the perfect soundtrack for the drive to dinner.

Just imagine… a movement! I just love confusing the people “in power.”

— added by Jason on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 1:26 pm