Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Salisbury case highlights 'archaic' views on disabled

December 14, 2012

Salisbury case highlights 'archaic' views on disabled

The decision to keep Salisbury School open is at odds with the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s goal of an inclusive society, says Massey education specialist Dr Jude MacArthur.

A recent judicial review has over-ruled the proposal from Education Minister Hekia Parata to shut Nelson's Salisbury residential school for girls with intellectual disability. The proposal was to replace Salisbury with wrap-around services in the community, with some girls moving in the interim to Halswell Boys College in Christchurch next year.

This week Justice Robert Dobson over-ruled the decision, concluding that it disregarded "the prospect of greater risk of sexual or physical abuse" to the girls if they were sent to a co-ed special needs school.

Mai Chen, lawyer for the school’s board of trustees, in Radio NZ and Breakfast interviews stated there were concerns the young men with an intellectually disability could start predating on the girls if in the same facility.

However, the IHC challenged that, saying that by portraying the Halswell pupils as potential sexual predators Ms Chen was misleading the public and scaremongering. Dr MacArthur, a senior lecturer at Massey’s College of Education, backs the IHC’s stance and says Ms Chen’s comments reflected a poor understanding of Professor Freda Brigg’s research, which showed disabled boys were likely targets for abuse and needed good support to understand their rights and reduce their vulnerability.

“To portray young men with intellectual disabilities as sexually deviant and ‘predating’ on girls is inaccurate, damaging and archaic," Dr MacArthur says. "This just perpetuates negative stereotypes of disabled people and contributes further to their marginalisation in society.

“These harmful myths should be a thing of the past and Ms Chen’s comments are just another sign it really is time to end the segregation of people with disabilities.”

She says just as institutions have closed because they were found to restrict the lives of disabled people, Ms Parata's proposal to close residential schools and develop supports in the community was an important step towards building a more inclusive society.

“Inclusive education involves changing local schools and communities so all children and young people with disabilities learn well and have friends without having to leave their home.

“We shouldn’t be hiding people away, we need to address their needs in the community. If some boys with intellectual disabilities do engage in unacceptable behaviors, as Ms Chen suggests, then we need to ask why is this happening and what can our community do to help this young person."

The New Zealand Disability Strategy and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities both identify inclusive education in regular schools as vital in a society that enhances the lives of disabled people.

“Teenagers with disabilities, boys and girls, need good education, good role models, and support from their non-disabled peers and friends.” Role models and support are found in regular schools and communities, and developing supports and enhancing teacher knowledge is the way forward, she says.

“We have seen how inclusion can work in other countries and in many of our own schools, but for all schools to be inclusive there needs to be commitment and a universal valuing of disability and other forms of diversity."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news