A group of Chicago-area parents are none too pleased by a school district proposal to eliminate a school for kids with severe disabilities in favor of inclusion in a typical school.

Officials with the Evanston-Skokie District 65 want to close a special education-specific school and move all of the students into mainstream classes. The idea, they say, is to remove the stigma of special education and turn it into “a service, rather than a place.”

But the plan has parents up in arms. Many parents say they’ve already tried inclusion to no avail and believe that a segregated environment best serves their children’s needs. Further, they say they are fearful of what will happen to their children without the support of staff trained to address the physical, emotional and educational needs of students with severe limitations.

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The school district’s plan is similar to efforts across the country over the last 20 years as inclusion became the norm for special education students. Attempts at widespread inclusion across entire schools or districts have been met with varying levels of success, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. To read more click here.

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