Thursday, January 06, 2005

You're Gonna Love This

If this story doesn't shatter what little remaining faith you might have in the American public "education" system, nothing will.

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- When a Carroll County, Md., high school had an emergency evacuation, everyone got out except for two students who were confined to wheelchairs.

They were abandoned in the stairwell on the second floor.

How could something like this happen? Was it an oversight caused by the confusion that often accompanies an emergency situation like this one? Was it just an act of cold-heartedness? A practical joke gone sour?

Nope. It was something far more insidious - school policy.

WBAL-TV in Baltimore said there is a policy at Westminster High School for what to do with the two students in wheelchairs in case of a fire. The policy said because their classrooms are on the second floor, teachers are to lead them to the second-floor stairwell and leave them there and wait for the fire crews to come to their rescue while everyone else evacuates.


Jeremy wasn't alone waiting in the school stairwell as it filled with smoke. Robin Miller's son Brian, the only other child in the school with a wheelchair, was with him.

I don't have the time, energy, or desire right now to go on about how absolutely friggin' idiotic this is, so I'll let Joe Kelly from The Sake of Argument provide the summation.

I'm truly stumped - I don't know which is more asinine, the policy that calls for leaving wheelchair-bound students inside a burning building, or the teachers and students who'd follow such a policy.