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University Decision To Withdraw Student With Down Syndrome Sparks Outcry


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When officials at an Oregon university decided that a 20-year-old with Down syndrome could no longer audit a ceramics class, the woman’s peers responded in force.

Eliza Schaaf was auditing a ceramics course at Southern Oregon University until she received a letter from the school Nov. 8 indicating that her need for extensive one-on-one assistance “resulted in a disruption of curriculum delivery and interfered with the teaching and learning environment for the instructor and other students.” University officials informed Schaaf that as a result she would be withdrawn from the course.

That didn’t sit well with Schaaf’s classmates who said that she was not a disruption and that her inclusion added to their college experience. All 19 of the other students in Schaaf’s class signed a petition asking that she be allowed to remain in the course. What’s more, the university’s student senate voted to oppose the school’s decision.

Nonetheless, after an informal appeal from Schaaf’s family, university officials say they’re standing by their decision, reports The (Medford, Ore.) Mail Tribune. To read more click here and here.

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. jujubeebop says:

    Here’s the petition to protest Eliza’s expulsion from SOU: Let’s flood them with our protests! Post this article and petition on Facebook… send it through Twitter. What a ridiculous breach of civil rights and educational equality. And all more the bizarre for the fact that Eliza’s fellow students and community back her inclusion. It’s simply blatant prejudice on the part of the administration of Southern Oregon University… based on age-old assumptions about people with Down syndrome. Hopefully sheer force of public outcry will sway the university to reflect on its wayward position.

  2. msamericanpatriot says:

    To any liberal minded individual like the heads of universities and colleges, we ALL have no value what so ever. To them and their Fabian Socialist mindset it would do the world good if we were ALL dead.

  3. jimmylittleman says:

    Unfortunately the response by the administration in this case seems to be more the norm rather than the exception. I am a professional in the supported employment services field and I taught a disabilities class at a community college for 15 years. The Student Servcies Dept. response to disabiliy issues has always been one of “what we are required to do” under the ADA etc rather than “what could we do to make this work”. As with so many disability issues, attitude is critical. As a prevoious poster stated, maybe and hopefully, this is a generational thing and that attitude will continue to change as younger and more progressive thinking people become the decision makers.

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