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Teoka
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07 May 2008, 10:54 pm

Taken from my note on Facebook

Quote:
"You filthy slime, how dare you think of some of our limitations and difficulties as cop-outs, if you can prove to me that you are a better person, no, a better person without some of your own problems, prove to me just how "normal" you are, I'll shut the hell up! but as far as I'm concerned, you will never be anything but a fithy, useless, disgusting piece of intolerant [neurotypical] garbage."
-Invictus

---------------------------------------------------------------

Due to some ignorant as*holes out there assuming that I was in the wrong that one fateful day in AP Government, I'll tell you, in as much detail as possible, what happened.

Unless you know me or know about Asperger's Syndrome/autism, you will not understand why I acted like this. Do some research on Asperger's; I recommend OASIS, the wiki article, and WrongPlanet.net.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I came into AP Government, feeling depressed. You see, some of my friends decided to sit somewhere else during lunch. I couldn't find them, which was stressful, seeing as it was a change in my routine that I didn't expect or enjoy. In addition, they didn't invite me to sit with them, so even IF I had found them, I wouldn't have had the guts to ask to sit with them. I already had the sneaking suspicion that a couple of them had a problem with me, anyways.

I lied my head on my desk to give myself some time to cool down. And it was working, too. But over from his desk, Mr. Crawford decided to take notice of me, in his typical, sarcastic tone...

Crawford - Katie, are you done with your practice test?
Katie - *shakes head*
Crawford - Sleep on your own time and finish it.

This is what got the ball rolling. Crawford knows about my Asperger's and my Section 504 plan (like an IEP). He knows that I'm very sensitive and knows that talking to me like that would make things worse. And if he didn't know, he wasn't doing his job.

Anyway, I responded...

Katie - I'm not sleeping, I'm depressed!

...and this is when my meltdown began. I was doing fine before, not bothering a soul, but him accusing me of doing something that I wasn't pushed me over the edge. I started crying, but not sobbing. He asked if I needed to go to my counselor, but I declined. Getting up in front of the whole class would cause me too much anxiety, and I didn't like my counselor.

I tried to keep my crying to a minimal volume, so I wouldn't attract his attention. The other students were not distracted beyond the occasional "what's wrong?" Most of them didn't seem to care, actually.

Later, Crawford stood next to my desk, insisting that I leave because I was "distracting the other students from their work," and he'd have to "move the class" if I didn't leave. This just made me feel even worse and my crying louder. I was clutching to my jacket, I was so upset and scared. I hate it when teachers try to guilt-trip students like that. And he just stood there, sighed antagonistically, and walked back to his desk. At this point, more students were taking notice, mainly because, I assume, Crawford drew attention to it.

((At this point, I want to contrast his actions with that of my Algebra II teacher, Mr. Grewal. I had an almost identical meltdown in his class. He asked if I was okay, I said no. He asked if I wanted to go to my counselor, and I said no. He didn't push the issue. I was crying louder in that class, and there were absolutely no issues with the rest of the class or the teacher.))

In the middle of going over the answers to the practice test, Crawford suddenly and without warning turned on me. He then threatened to call security if I did not leave. Knowing that what he was threatening to do was inappropriate, I loudly asserted "I have Asperger's Syndrome! I'm having a meltdown! That's NOT how you're supposed to treat me!" And I'll be damned if I had let him.

He then proceeded to yell at me about six to eight feet away, saying things such as "I don't care what kind of syndrome you have!" That was the most insulting thing I have EVER heard. It's no different than saying the same thing to someone with clinical depression, ADHD, or a physical disability. It's not something we can control, and it's part of who we are.

Crawford even skulked over to the security button, almost dancing around it, threatening to press it. He said something along the lines of "See this? I'll press it if you don't leave!" Knowing that he would look ridiculous calling in the school cops over a crying teenage autistic girl, I said, "Go ahead, call security! It's not gonna make you look any better!" So he picked up the phone and made a call.

At this point, the class was in complete disarray. Milgo, Emily, and Ashley were around my desk, helping me out, while I'm sure the rest of the class was shocked. I was, too, although I was feeling more energized than before. After all, this incident could propel efforts to make public schools more accommodating for people with Asperger's/autism. And there's no way in hell that I'm going to a special school. We can't be corralled away from the general public; that'd just make adjusting to life after high school more difficult! There are those with low-functioning autism who need some separation, but the majority of us are just as academically capable, often more so, than our neurotypical peers.

After Crawford got off the phone, he left the room briefly, came back, and ordered the class to take their things and move to a different room. Everyone except for Milgo, Emily, and Ashley, followed him out of the room. I could barely believe that he had pulled such a move! Not only did that make me feel more isolated and despised, but it was an overreaction to the situation.

The rest of the time was spent gathering myself up, explaining the situation to a couple teachers, and telling my parents what happened. Needless to say, they were, and still are, furious. I went home early.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I have since been pulled out of his class and moved to Mr. William's AP Government class nearby. I'll have to adjust to a new class of mostly seniors who I don't even know in a classroom I've never been in. And now I can't take IB Philosophy like I had dreamed of, because Crawford's the only teacher in the state who teaches said course.

When my parents and aunt had a conference about this, he left out many important details, all of which incriminated him. Needless to say, his supervisor, Mr. Yarborough, was on his side, and treated my aunt, the head of the science department at Annandale HS, with no respect. My counselor, Mrs. Murphy, didn't even try to advocate for me and even tried to make excuses for Crawford. As of recently, she isn't my counselor anymore. But hey, at least I can say that I've got Mr. Meier on my side. :P Yep, my parents spoke with him and asked for his help, and he gave plenty. Take that, faculty >D

What Crawford did is called disability harassment. He KNEW that I had a disability, as much as I hate calling my AS that, yet he treated me horribly and yelled at me when I was at my most fragile. As a teacher, he is expected and taught to keep student's conditions in mind when teaching them. At this, he failed.

((It's also worthy to mention that when Daniel, a kid in my former AP Gov' class, was playing with the screen in the computer lab, Crawford said, "What are you, autistic?" The rest of the class may have found that to be hilarious, but I was NOT happy.))

---------------------------------------------------------------

If what you have read does not disgust and infuriate you, that a teacher would treat an autistic student as such, then you need to get with the picture.


Sincerely,
Katie


A lot of that was directed towards a select few idiots who thought that Crawford was in the right. But it nicely depicts what happened.

I can't say much on what action we plan to take, but let's just say he's gonna have an example made of him >D


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IpsoRandomo
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08 May 2008, 12:06 am

delete this



Last edited by IpsoRandomo on 08 May 2008, 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

nontrivial
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08 May 2008, 12:11 am

Teoka - I'm going to take what will probably be an unpopular stance here and say that I have to side with your teacher and your school on this one. I'm not saying that you deserved to be humiliated in front of your classmates, or that your teacher handled the situation as well as he possibly could. But if you want to go to a regular school and live among the NTs, you have to be prepared to work with people who don't understand your condition. You can't shut down and stop cooperating when someone is unable to address a situation in the particular way you want it addressed.

As an Aspie who wants to be a teacher (and has taught a few classes with younger students), I can tell you that having a crying student in class makes it impossible for a teacher to conduct class effectively. Whether you think other people care or not (and it sounds like some did in your situation, thank goodness), this creates a distraction for the other students and for the teacher. It sounds to me like Crawford tried to remedy the situation in the most natural way possible, which was to have you go see your counselor. (If I'd known that you didn't like your counselor, I might have simply asked if you wanted to step outside for a few minutes, but teachers in some schools don't have that option - school rules. And I would guess Crawford didn't know that you don't like your counselor.) You weren't doing your work anyway, so he probably wondered what the point was in keeping you in class. And he probably felt he was doing you a favor - a lot of students don't like to be seen crying in class. I know I didn't when I was a kid.

I don't know what you mean by "making an example" of him - for all I know, you could be thinking lawsuit - but I would ask you to try to see things from the school's perspective and the teacher's perspective. A school can have thousands of students (and a teacher hundreds), each of whom has a different neurological/psychological situation. Since we've learned about lots of different mood disorders, learning disabilities, etc. in the last few decades, more and more students are getting diagnosed - and that means more IEPs for the teachers to deal with. We can ask teachers to be sensitive and to use their best judgment, but we can't reasonably expect any teacher to be fully familiar with the entire cornucopia of disorders that are out there - especially AS, which means different things to virtually every person who has it. Similarly, we can ask schools to try to provide safer environments for people with neurological disorders (special classes, alternative campuses), or we can ask them to give us the chance to try to go to school with the general population - but we can't expect them to be "tolerant" of us when we disrupt classes and prevent other students from learning. Again, I know you thought you weren't much of a disruption... but as a teacher who has had students have meltdowns in his class, I've never seen a meltdown that wasn't disruptive.

It sounds like your teacher didn't handle the situation in the most sensitive way possible, and for that he's partly culpable, but I don't think that going to war against this guy is going to help things at all.



fabshelly
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08 May 2008, 12:15 am

Crucify him.


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srriv345
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08 May 2008, 12:26 am

I used to have meltdowns in school all the time, including high school to some extent. I was not diagnosed during this time. In sixth grade, I stopped going to the counselor's office like I was supposed to do, and went to the girls bathroom instead. I found this less humiliating, though still painful. Since you have a diagnosis and an IEP, would it be possible to put some kind of plan in place for situations like these? My psych. said they would have allowed me to go to a certain quite room when this happened (not the bathroom) if they'd known I had AS. Regular education teachers definitely do need more training about how to deal with special needs students, and IEPs do need to be more comprehensive. But...I can't help but think that the meltdown itself, not just the teacher's reaction, did draw some attention from students and that it was reasonable for him to ask you to go elsewhere. (Though I do understand not wanting to go the counselor's office, I really do.) I also think that students should be expected to do the work if they are to be in class. Maybe it was appropriate for you to take some kind of break to feel better, but I don't think you sitting in class and not completing the assignment was the right solution. Everybody sometimes has to work in spite of pain, AS or not.



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08 May 2008, 12:32 am

Sue him for everything he has, and then get his ass fired and blacklisted.


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08 May 2008, 12:42 am

Teoka I'm with nontrivial on this one. You were asked if you wanted to see your Counselor and I can't help but think that things would have gone much smoother if you had. As far as his yelling goes you can't control him, only yourself. You are training for the rest of your life and you will not be able to have a career if you are not willing to take steps to minimize the disruptive effects of your meltdowns. I like your posts because you come across as a thoughtful, intelligent person. I'm sorry this happened but if Aspies want to be looked at as equals in the work force, then Aspies will need to work with the world as it is and not as we would like it to be.



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08 May 2008, 12:54 am

I got to say I am with you because that teacher was wrong because what if a NT went to school if it was taliored to kids AS I think were not the ones who have to change its the NT's. I have never had a melt down at school but I always wanted to because maybe it will lead to AS rights.


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Teoka
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08 May 2008, 12:55 am

I would've seen my counselor if I had felt comfortable around her. But I don't. She is not warm at all. And getting up in front of the class would cause too much anxiety (I also have General Anxiety Disorder).

Note that another teacher handled it completely differently when I had a meltdown very similar to this, and he was able to teach the class. It's not impossible. If you knew this teacher, you'd understand. He is demeaning and always sarcastic. I've also spoken with many of the students in the classroom at the time who said that they were mildly concerned for me, but did not work any less proficiently.

"Making an example" is probably not the right phrasing.

I understand that I've got some things to work on, but at this point in time, I haven't solved the problem, but I'm trying. And he knew that. But he decided to threaten me with the school cops. Even if I was NT and I was crying, that's no excuse for what he did. I can't change or control him, but I can somehow show the world that what he did was absolutely wrong.

I was just hoping that I wasn't the only one who's had to deal with this, and maybe I could get some help ;-; I only know one other person with Asperger's personally, and she's in another school district. I'm the only aspie who I know in my school of 4,000 students. It's hard enough to get my peers to understand what happened...


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08 May 2008, 1:21 am

Teoka wrote:
I would've seen my counselor if I had felt comfortable around her. But I don't. She is not warm at all. And getting up in front of the class would cause too much anxiety (I also have General Anxiety Disorder).

I understand that I've got some things to work on, but at this point in time, I haven't solved the problem, but I'm trying. And he knew that. But he decided to threaten me with the school cops. Even if I was NT and I was crying, that's no excuse for what he did. I can't change or control him, but I can somehow show the world that what he did was absolutely wrong.

I was just hoping that I wasn't the only one who's had to deal with this, and maybe I could get some help ;-; I only know one other person with Asperger's personally, and she's in another school district. I'm the only aspie who I know in my school of 4,000 students. It's hard enough to get my peers to understand what happened...


It's easy for me to try and look at this objectively since I was not the person in your spot. You are expressing a mature attitude with this post. If you only know one other Aspie then how many has your teacher dealt with? If you get vindictive and try to take his job, as some have suggested, how will this affect future Aspies in this School? Part of how it turned out may have been mitigated by the Teacher acting differently, but I didn't know what Aspergers was until Aug. 2005, and I am on the spectrum. If you can get even a tacit admission that things could have been handled differently, then you can consider that a victory. Scorched earth and wiping out a career may cause ill will from teachers that may otherwise come around to seeing your point of view. It is more important to try to find a permanent solution than personal satisfaction.



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08 May 2008, 1:22 am

Teoka - I certainly didn't mean to imply that your situation was an easy one. It wasn't. And sometimes, when we're in a tough situation, we lose perspective and feel like the rest of the world is against us. (I'm pretty sure that's just a human trait, not an Aspie trait.)

I've been in situations, as recently as this year (I'm in grad school), where I felt like my friends and/or classmates were selling me out or just refusing to acknowledge me (as happened with your friends at school). I know how that can send a person into a spiral of frustration and sadness. You don't have to apologize for having those feelings. I do think it's important to find ways of coping with those feelings so that they don't keep you from functioning, but I think that comes with time and experience.

More than anything, I wanted to present what I would imagine Crawford's side of the story would be. I'm sorry I didn't say more the first time around to acknowledge how you felt; I'm sure you came here for comfort, not so that more people could judge you.



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08 May 2008, 2:07 am

Three weeks ago someone at my college called campus security about me. She also knew full well that I am autistic. I was having a meltdown, and was yelling and even shoved a table. I don't entirely blame her for doing this. I know this was scary to watch. You were just crying, which is different, and the teacher definitely should have been more compassionate to any student of his who was crying. Many parents and professionals also need to learn that much of their behavior towards us during a meltdown is hurting, not helping. Having said that, I would find it difficult to concentrate on an exam when someone was audibly crying in my presence. I do think leaving, though not necessarily to poor counselors' offices, would have been most fair for everyone, including you.



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08 May 2008, 7:30 am

OK, I don't think the teacher handled this very well, but I can see where he's coming from. If I had been one of the other students I would have found it impossible to do the test with someone crying in the room because the sound would be much too distracting.

If you look at it from this teacher's point of view, he didn't know that you weren't just being difficult. He was thinking of the whole class, not just you. I've broken down and cried numerous times at school/university/work, usually for reasons incomprehensible for the people around me. Reactions have varied. In my case, I would respond best to being invited to go off to a quiet place and work out the meltdown/panic attack in private - probably in the loos.

It is reasonable to expect allowances to be made for AS. I don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to read your mind or know without any prior discussion what the best course of action is. The fact that the other teacher stumbled - apparently by chance - on the best course of action doesn't mean that this one knew what to do. If I had been the other aspie in the class I would have been quite wound up that you were ruining my ability to concentrate on the test by crying.


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08 May 2008, 8:10 am

I hate it when this kind of stuff happens! There have been many times when I have had a meltdown in class and the teacher treated me inhumanely!
Back when I was in the 6th grade, before I was diagnosed, I had a meltdown in my social studies class. I was doing origami as usual in that class, when a kid took it from me and ripped it up. I started to yell at him, and he proceeded to slam my head in to the steel door. The teacher finally decided to make him stop after a few minutes, and started to yell at me for getting mad. I ended up getting suspended for a week and had to go to anger management for 10 weeks. The other kid did not have any punishment. I ended up getting out of his class.

There are others that are worse, but that is all I can remember off of the top of my head.



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08 May 2008, 3:25 pm

Ok, this whole situation summarizes my experiences in middle school, and this kind of BS is just that: BS. If the f**ktard is going to act like that to a student, especially a student whom he f*****g well knows is IEP, then why the f**k is he even allowed to teach?!

There are loads more obscenites i can use for this asshat, but i'm going to draw the line with some advice: don't take this lying down. NO ONE, especially you, deserved to be treated like that. Get the word out to the higher ups about this incident. If you plead your case right, they should give him at least a reprimand. When you get a reprmand in education, it is one step away from being fired, so he'll have to take it seriously if he wants to keep his job. IF the school administrators symphasize with him, then go even higher, like school board level. Also, inform your parents. IF they really care about you, they will see that this meltdown was a manifestation of the Aspergers, and that he handled it the wrong way.

If all else fails, let me know. I've got a spot in my Deathnote reserved for him... :evil:


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08 May 2008, 3:47 pm

Teoka wrote:
Taken from my note on Facebook

Quote:
"You filthy slime, how dare you think of some of our limitations and difficulties as cop-outs, if you can prove to me that you are a better person, no, a better person without some of your own problems, prove to me just how "normal" you are, I'll shut the hell up! but as far as I'm concerned, you will never be anything but a fithy, useless, disgusting piece of intolerant [neurotypical] garbage."
-Invictus

---------------------------------------------------------------

Due to some ignorant as*holes out there assuming that I was in the wrong that one fateful day in AP Government, I'll tell you, in as much detail as possible, what happened.

Unless you know me or know about Asperger's Syndrome/autism, you will not understand why I acted like this. Do some research on Asperger's; I recommend OASIS, the wiki article, and WrongPlanet.net.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I came into AP Government, feeling depressed. You see, some of my friends decided to sit somewhere else during lunch. I couldn't find them, which was stressful, seeing as it was a change in my routine that I didn't expect or enjoy. In addition, they didn't invite me to sit with them, so even IF I had found them, I wouldn't have had the guts to ask to sit with them. I already had the sneaking suspicion that a couple of them had a problem with me, anyways.

I lied my head on my desk to give myself some time to cool down. And it was working, too. But over from his desk, Mr. Crawford decided to take notice of me, in his typical, sarcastic tone...

Crawford - Katie, are you done with your practice test?
Katie - *shakes head*
Crawford - Sleep on your own time and finish it.

This is what got the ball rolling. Crawford knows about my Asperger's and my Section 504 plan (like an IEP). He knows that I'm very sensitive and knows that talking to me like that would make things worse. And if he didn't know, he wasn't doing his job.

Anyway, I responded...

Katie - I'm not sleeping, I'm depressed!

...and this is when my meltdown began. I was doing fine before, not bothering a soul, but him accusing me of doing something that I wasn't pushed me over the edge. I started crying, but not sobbing. He asked if I needed to go to my counselor, but I declined. Getting up in front of the whole class would cause me too much anxiety, and I didn't like my counselor.

I tried to keep my crying to a minimal volume, so I wouldn't attract his attention. The other students were not distracted beyond the occasional "what's wrong?" Most of them didn't seem to care, actually.

Later, Crawford stood next to my desk, insisting that I leave because I was "distracting the other students from their work," and he'd have to "move the class" if I didn't leave. This just made me feel even worse and my crying louder. I was clutching to my jacket, I was so upset and scared. I hate it when teachers try to guilt-trip students like that. And he just stood there, sighed antagonistically, and walked back to his desk. At this point, more students were taking notice, mainly because, I assume, Crawford drew attention to it.

((At this point, I want to contrast his actions with that of my Algebra II teacher, Mr. Grewal. I had an almost identical meltdown in his class. He asked if I was okay, I said no. He asked if I wanted to go to my counselor, and I said no. He didn't push the issue. I was crying louder in that class, and there were absolutely no issues with the rest of the class or the teacher.))

In the middle of going over the answers to the practice test, Crawford suddenly and without warning turned on me. He then threatened to call security if I did not leave. Knowing that what he was threatening to do was inappropriate, I loudly asserted "I have Asperger's Syndrome! I'm having a meltdown! That's NOT how you're supposed to treat me!" And I'll be damned if I had let him.

He then proceeded to yell at me about six to eight feet away, saying things such as "I don't care what kind of syndrome you have!" That was the most insulting thing I have EVER heard. It's no different than saying the same thing to someone with clinical depression, ADHD, or a physical disability. It's not something we can control, and it's part of who we are.

Crawford even skulked over to the security button, almost dancing around it, threatening to press it. He said something along the lines of "See this? I'll press it if you don't leave!" Knowing that he would look ridiculous calling in the school cops over a crying teenage autistic girl, I said, "Go ahead, call security! It's not gonna make you look any better!" So he picked up the phone and made a call.

At this point, the class was in complete disarray. Milgo, Emily, and Ashley were around my desk, helping me out, while I'm sure the rest of the class was shocked. I was, too, although I was feeling more energized than before. After all, this incident could propel efforts to make public schools more accommodating for people with Asperger's/autism. And there's no way in hell that I'm going to a special school. We can't be corralled away from the general public; that'd just make adjusting to life after high school more difficult! There are those with low-functioning autism who need some separation, but the majority of us are just as academically capable, often more so, than our neurotypical peers.

After Crawford got off the phone, he left the room briefly, came back, and ordered the class to take their things and move to a different room. Everyone except for Milgo, Emily, and Ashley, followed him out of the room. I could barely believe that he had pulled such a move! Not only did that make me feel more isolated and despised, but it was an overreaction to the situation.

The rest of the time was spent gathering myself up, explaining the situation to a couple teachers, and telling my parents what happened. Needless to say, they were, and still are, furious. I went home early.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I have since been pulled out of his class and moved to Mr. William's AP Government class nearby. I'll have to adjust to a new class of mostly seniors who I don't even know in a classroom I've never been in. And now I can't take IB Philosophy like I had dreamed of, because Crawford's the only teacher in the state who teaches said course.

When my parents and aunt had a conference about this, he left out many important details, all of which incriminated him. Needless to say, his supervisor, Mr. Yarborough, was on his side, and treated my aunt, the head of the science department at Annandale HS, with no respect. My counselor, Mrs. Murphy, didn't even try to advocate for me and even tried to make excuses for Crawford. As of recently, she isn't my counselor anymore. But hey, at least I can say that I've got Mr. Meier on my side. :P Yep, my parents spoke with him and asked for his help, and he gave plenty. Take that, faculty >D

What Crawford did is called disability harassment. He KNEW that I had a disability, as much as I hate calling my AS that, yet he treated me horribly and yelled at me when I was at my most fragile. As a teacher, he is expected and taught to keep student's conditions in mind when teaching them. At this, he failed.

((It's also worthy to mention that when Daniel, a kid in my former AP Gov' class, was playing with the screen in the computer lab, Crawford said, "What are you, autistic?" The rest of the class may have found that to be hilarious, but I was NOT happy.))

---------------------------------------------------------------

If what you have read does not disgust and infuriate you, that a teacher would treat an autistic student as such, then you need to get with the picture.


Sincerely,
Katie


A lot of that was directed towards a select few idiots who thought that Crawford was in the right. But it nicely depicts what happened.

I can't say much on what action we plan to take, but let's just say he's gonna have an example made of him >D



I once got screamed at by a teacher in grammer school when she told me to read between the lines and I asked where the lines were. I look back at that and think f*ck her. Actually f*ck most grammer school teachers.