This all happened some 25 years ago in a strongly, face-saving nation far, far away.
A growing international primary and secondary school was trying to burnish its image and trying for accreditation. There was an audit of the school by an agency that does such things. They inspected, they probed and they snooped all over the school for a good week or so. And when finished, the auditors submitted a glowing report. The school was very accomplished in nearly all measured areas. With only one exception.
The school was woefully lacking in how it addressed children with special needs. There was no policy on how or when to admit them to the school, nor how to educate and serve them. The final report was rather damning in this regard.
The school board at the time gathered and decided that this couldn’t stand. They should have such a policy, so they hired a young educator to come in and write such a policy.
This was a fairly straight forward job for this consultant. They came in and wrote up a whole policy section for the school. How to assess children. When to admit them. What sort of programs to offer. Who should teach them.
He wrote it all up and brought it back to the board. They read it and listened intently to the presentation. And at the end, they were very pleased. They said, this is great! Now we have a policy. They thanked the consultant for the work
The consultant offered to stay on and help them get to work setting up a program for special education. He offered to help hire teachers and train staff and bring in the first kids.
The school board thanked him, but declined. We needed a policy, and now we have a policy, but we can’t really implement the policy. We can’t.
The consultant was dumbfounded. What do you mean? Why did you hire me, if you weren’t going to do anything?
Well, after poking around, he got some insight from a local school official.
We needed a policy to get our accreditation, but these kids with disabilities? They did something in a past life. This is their burden to bear. We can’t really help them. It’s not up to us.
Despite the consultants pleas, and even the suggestion that helping these kids might gain merit for their own advancement in the afterlife, nothing ever took hold.
And so, the guy left that school, and started his own school for special needs children. He’s been going at it for over 20 years and is one of the main drivers in training special education providers.
In two decades, views are changing. There is more of a push to include these kids in standard classrooms as much as possible. There are even government initiatives being formed to allow as full an education as possible. It just may be that the karma for some kids is changing.