By Anne Dachel
Last week the World Mercury Project reported on the special education epidemic happening around the world in Part 4 of their series.
“In this four-part series, World Mercury Project's partner, Focus for Health (FFH), examined the special education epidemic, its crippling effects ...”
The WMP’s evidence that increasingly students in our schools today can’t learn or behave as children always have should be cause for follow-up by the national press, one would think, but sadly it’s probably not going to happen. In fact, they’ll do just the opposite.
Sunday, May 13th the Washington Post addressed this critical topic. The headline said it all: Veteran policymaker says 80 percent of special-ed kids don’t need that label
The Post, like every other mainstream news source out there, has never addressed the explosion in special needs students as a crisis. The truth is, it’s been completely ignored. Staten Island may have 24 percent of its students in special education, 22 percent in Racine, WI, 20 percent in Wahkiakum, WA, but still, it’s no cause for concern.
However, when an impressive group like the World Mercury Project, led by well-known environmentalist Robert Kennedy, Jr., calls what’s happening in special ed an epidemic, it’s definitely going to draw more attention to the topic. The public might ask where the big name sources in print and broadcast news have been. Why have they said absolutely nothing about this?
The truth is, just like with the horrific increases in autism over the last two decades, the job of the media seems to be to first ignore the situation, and when finally forced to talk about it, deny anything is wrong.
This is exactly what the Post did in their story. The author of the piece, Jay Mathews, is the education columnist for the Post where he’s been working for nearly 50 years. Mathews interviewed Kalman R. “Buzzy” Hettleman who served two terms on the Baltimore school board and was deputy mayor of Baltimore and Maryland secretary of human resources. Surely these two people should be able to tell us what’s going on.