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Voice: Teachers also can speak up, even write letters, Woeten says

February 17, 2002

The concept of killing the message-bearer really came home to me when I read the replies to my letter about drug babies.

I wanted to spread the message that we are having some problems in special education classes because of the faults of the parents. The specific faults were that they took drugs and allowed their children to pay for their folly. The word folly is too weak. It's the children who pay and pay their whole life for the parents who inconceivably put their alleged pleasures ahead of the basic needs of their children.

But something went astray with my letter, or maybe not, for what I wanted to is to wake up the people so they could address this problem. If they do it by throwing rocks at me, so be it. As long as they do something about the problem, I don't mind the heat.

I was not insensitive about the children or their needs, but maybe I was about the parents who would allow this, and to them, if I stepped on yours toes, good, I would like to stomp on them to wake up these parents.


I never mentioned any child by name. Would my letter have caused as much stir if I would have said some children need glasses?

What is wrong with a teacher speaking or writing about a problem they see at school, that could be corrected, or could be avoided in the first place?

Let it be known that "Mrs. A" advised me not to send this letter in because people would not take it in the way it was meant.

I never meant to offend or address any parent/student whose disabilities were due to natural causes. To those who misinterpreted my intent, I apologize for a lack of clarity. My intent was to address only those whose disabilities were entirely preventable.

My pen is wet, so I will write more later. Need I say more? Thanks.



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