Maryland students with disabilities will get increased access to high school athletics
Just in case you missed it, the General Assembly unanimously approved a bill Monday night requiring schools to provide disabled students access to sports programs, either among themselves or with able-bodied students.
Under the measure known as the Fitness and Athletics Equity for Students with Disabilities, schools have three years to fully implement the requirements.
The legislation, which takes effect in July, requires local school systems to submit their plans to the state education department, which would investigate complaints and could sideline noncompliant teams or withhold money from schools or school systems.
Not everyone is pleased with the law. I received a number of e-mails from angry readers since this story ran.
One message from a reader in Hunt Valley included this rant about Tatyana McFadden, an accomplished high school wheelchair athlete who currently races alongside able-bodied athletes in Howard County : “I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY WHEN SHE INJURES SOMEONE (LIKE SPIKING ONLY WITH A WHEEL) AND SHE GETS THE CRAP SUED OUT OF HER.....YEAH WE ALL GET IT, TOO. CRIPPLE PEOPLE SHOULD GET IT THROUGH THEIR HEADS, AND IDIOTS, AND MORONS THAT THE WORLD DOESN'T OWN THEM ANYTHING.....WHEN I WAS YOUNG (OVER 50 YEARS AGO) PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD THEY HAD LIMITATIONS AND THEY ADAPTED........IF YOU COULDN'T GET UP THE STEPS YOU EITHER CRAWLED OR YOU DIDN'T GO UP THEM....NOW NON- HANDICAPPED PEOPLE HAVE TO BE HANDICAPPED SO HANDICAPPED PEOPLE ARE EQUAL....WELL THEY ARE NOT EQUAL,THEY HAVE A HANDICAP..............GET IT……”
Needless to say there was a lot more of the same in this e-mail.
I wonder if this was the same opinion shared by some when women and people of color attempted to break down athletic barriers in the past?
Supporters of the new legislation say that it will essentially level the playing field for all students.
What do you think?