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Parents of Disabled Child Get 'A' for Effort

March 10, 1992

It is the obligation and right of the parents of Sydney Taylor to be advocates for their child. All parents should be relentless in pursuing that which is best for the needs of their child. Therefore, I respect what the Taylors have endeavored to do for their child.

As a reporter, it is your obligation to research all the facts before you present a story. I do not feel you did so in this case. You did not go to Santiago Elementary School in El Toro and visit the existing programs available to Sydney. You did not find out that there are a wide range of options for Sydney. The choice is not just the self-contained classroom or full inclusion. You did not see the speech teachers giving extra help. You did not see Sydney's former teacher working with the adaptive physical-education specialist to improve the skills of students. You did not check into the background or years of training these people have had or the love and enthusiasm they have for the children they teach.

Most importantly, you did not look into the regular classrooms. You did not see that each and every child at Santiago Elementary School is special and has special needs and requires extra time. It is the responsibility of the school board to look into the needs of all the children and find a program that will be the best for all of them, even if it does not always agree with what a set of parents thinks is best for their child.

Cecile Pollin, San Juan Capistrano

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