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Valley Perspective

Inclusion

March 11, 2001

* Re "Class Crowns Girl Princess for a Night," Feb. 28.

In the not-too-distant past, students who were mentally retarded were isolated from regular education students by being placed in special education classrooms and / or schools. Now, however, students such as Jenna Decker can be fully included in regular classes. Jenna's mother, Susie Decker, was tired of being told that her daughter could only enroll in special education classes such as community based instruction. She wanted a different experience for her daughter and found it.

Jenna's story, and The Times' coverage of this special young lady, highlight the positive aspects of the inclusion model for special education students. It is obvious that Jenna has benefited from her experiences at Verdugo Hills High School. Perhaps less obvious are the benefits that her classmates have also gained from this encounter.

GAYLE GLAZER

Northridge

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