Voice: Teacher made ignorant remarks about special ed students

February 13, 2002

A letter to the editor titled, "The tragedy of drug babies," had totally shocked and disturbed me. I suppose a "substitute" teacher had this one and single momentary time with a class of special education.

I believe to compare and label a child with mental and physical disabilities as a "drug baby" is a derogatory statement and was certainly uncalled for. Mr. Ed Woeten, being the author of this doctrine, and considering yourself a teacher, a person of the ‘lear-ned,' you certainly are "stupid."

Although wait … I don't want to belittle myself by using such vernacular, so allow me to call you "ignorant." Ignorant is a word defined as someone who has a lack of knowledge. I will be fair and say that your opinion was deeply uninformed!

I do not know if you wrote this letter for the sheer avaricious reason to get your name in the paper or you believe that your opinion was justified by your newfound experience with the children of mental and physical disabilities.


I know that I cannot speak from absolute experience, but under pure confidentiality, I have a friend who is diagnosed with autism, and I have known him all his life, and I know his family on a personal basis. This cliché you use, "drug baby," has never been a phrase that I would use to define him. In fact, I don't believe I would use names or words to determine a person's value or worth, although you do it quite eloquently.

It is from my firm beliefs that people should learn and take in all perspectives that life has to offer us, and Mr. Ed Woeten, you certainly have a warped perspective of reality, but that's just my opinion.

Finally, I would like to give you a little lesson in special education. It is not a majority of severely physically and mentally disabled that are the product of their parents drug use or habits. A majority of the severely mentally and physically disabled are sadly the product of genetic miscalculation. Although, we should not "sneer and name-call," we should embrace and accept them with open arms.

Children and adults who suffer from these incurable ailments do not need your ignorant intolerance and prejudice to isolate them.

I would like to advise you, Mr. Ed Woeten, to stop voicing your opinion in the paper, please. You do not need to teach us a system of ignorance toward our brothers and sisters. It is not by necessity that you shall ever write about any further epiphanies that you may have.

I am reminded that you are a teacher. Didn't they require you to take a class on ethics? If you shall ever write a letter in "Voice of the People," be sure that you don't forget your apologies to all educators that you have disgraced, and our physically and mentally disadvantaged community.

I am sorry I would ever have to write a letter like this.


(Southwest High Senior)

El Centro

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