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Tamara Draper

S00153696

Highlighted sections: 1.6 Physical, social, and intellectual development and


characteristics of students

EDFD221: CREATING INCLUSIVE SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS


Assignment 1: Letter

Dear Principle Smith,

I have many things I would like to say to you right now, but the word that continues to
spring into my mind is shocked. I am shocked that you are refusing to allow my
daughter to attend your school. I am shocked that you are using my daughters
disability as an excuse to deny her of a proper education. And above all, I am
shocked that you, as the principle of a primary school, are choosing to act in this way
considering the responsibility you have, being a prime role model to the staff,
parents, and children in this schools community.
Due to mine and my husbands jobs, we have had to constantly move around, which
means different housing and schooling for my children. This has had a negative
impact on our two sons and daughter, as they have not been able to make a
permanent group of friends. The moving has also not allowed our children to join any
sporting clubs for long periods of time, and although we have encouraged a healthy
lifestyle for our family, the moving has now unfortunately deterred our daughter,
Sarah, from participating in social activities and exercise as she now possesses low
levels of self-esteem. After reading an article called, Baby its a Crying Shame
(Bolt, 2012), the issue of ensuring each person is humanised has stuck in my mind,
and I suggest you read it too. Sarah is not just another child with a disability, she is a
human being who has the right to an education just like every other human being in
the world.

The National Safe Schools Framework (2010) discusses the idea that schools
should be creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all of those
involved in the school community. I can honestly say that this is the least supported
we have ever felt by any school. How dare you deny any child the right to an
education? The notion of you turning my child away from your school due to her
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disability is disgusting and outrageous to say the least. We are very aware that
Sarah has been deemed obese by a nutritionist, and now that we have settled in a
permanent location, our first priority is our childrens health and education. We
believe that by attending this school, Sarahs health and education can be greatly
benefited, as she will be able to make a solid group of friends, and be able to
participate in activities that can build her levels of self-esteem. Sarah has always
been interested in tennis, and we have heard your school has a great tennis program
that she would be thrilled to join. It would make both us, and Sarah delighted if she
could feel positive about physical exercise again, but by you denying her to become
a part of your school, you are denying any learning prospects, and any positive
physical and mental health changes.

The National Framework for Values Education in Schools (2005) shows a list of nine
values for Australian schooling, and I think it is ridiculous that you make the teachers
in your school teach these to students, when you possess barely any of these values
yourself. How is the way youre treating my family being caring and compassionate?
Do you really believe that youre giving Sarah a fair go; a child that you have never
given the time of day to? Is it respectful as a role model to deny children of their
rights? And I think I almost laughed when I read this last one, understanding,
tolerance and inclusion; emphasis on the word inclusion I think it speaks for itself,
dont you Principle Smith?

Since I believe that the way you are acting is unjust, I took it upon myself to learn the
rights for a child. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (n.d.), states 54
articles that interpret childrens rights in child friendly language. It is important that its
written in child friendly language, as the majority of children are not aware of their
rights, thus it is the responsibility of their parents, caretakers, and other adults to
ensure that their rights are being upheld. Article 28 states that, You have the right to
a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest
level you can. It is your right as an authority figure, an adult, and an educator to
ensure these rights are being upheld, and by not doing so, you are taking advantage
of children who are not able to stand up for themselves. When Sarah does partake in
a form a physical activity, she tires easily, and is even seen to have breathing
problems. We, as Sarahs parents, are very concerned that she will not be able to
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overcome this issue, and that it will continue into her adolescent and adult life. At the
moment, she needs all the support she can get from people around her, and we are
not looking forward to telling her that the school she was so excited to attend (as it
was to be a permanent schooling option), is not allowing her to be a part of their
community.
The Disability Discrimination Act Standards for Education (2005), is an act that
seeks to eliminate discrimination against people with a disability. It provides the
measures that can be taken to ensure discrimination does not take place, and the
legal obligations in relation to education. To not allow Sarah in your school is
discrimination, and you have a legal obligation to show my daughter the same
respect and educational rights as every other child you allow into your school. Sarah
is protected by this act, and I am willing to fight this until you realise the wrong you
are doing. This will hopefully ensure that there will be no more discriminatory acts
being displayed in your school.

I hope you are able to gain some insight as to why we are both extremely unhappy
with your decision to deny Sarah of this educational opportunity, and are able to
correct the error of your ways by allowing her into your school.

From Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Johnson.

Tamara Draper
S00153696

REFERENCES:

Australian Government: Department of Education, Science and Training,. (2005).


National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools.
Bolt, A. (2012, June 18). Baby, its a crying shame. Herald Sun. Retrieved from
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/baby-its-a-crying-shame/story-e6frfhqf1226398054333

Department for Community Development Office for Children and Youth, Meerilinga
Young Childrens Foundation Inc & the United Nations Association WA Branch.
(n.d.). The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Commonwealth of Australia. Part 1, Section 14.


Retrieved fromhttp://www.austlii.edu.au/.../cth/consol_act/dda1992264/

Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood. (2013). National Safe
School Framework.