Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You would think I would have learned by now that I should NEVER be surprised by anything...

But I am a slow learner....

And again today, my heart is breaking:

Most of you know by now that I have decided to run against Jack Johnson for the office of District 23 TN State Senate because of his proposed bill that would have given educators the right to lock special education students in isolation rooms as a form of control/discipline. It is still early in the game, but I am causing quite a stir. I have been receiving emails and phone calls from people who uphold and defend the idea of physical restraints and locked isolation rooms being used for special needs children in the classroom as a means of discipline. Each of these folks, surprise, do not have disabled individuals in their families. But they are all too eager to explain to me what a nuisance disabled individuals can be to the outside world.

For a moment, consider if a national law were to be passed that would allow ALL educators to place ANY school child in locked isolation rooms as a disciplinary measure. Seriously, what would happen? I believe there would be such outrage, the legislators who proposed the law would be afraid to show their faces in public. Something like that would never pass, because it would be considered abuse. Now consider for a moment if a mother was tying her child to a chair and locking the child in an isolation "closet" each day as a form of discipline. That mother would face child abuse charges, and her child would be taken from her.

My grandmother, before she died, was placed in a state run nursing home because she was showing signs of Alzheimer's Disease/Dimentia. I put up such a fight about it that things are still not right with some of my family members. When I would visit her, I would find her in a diaper, strapped to a wheelchair. She would sit like that for hours, and I was not allowed to take her from the place. On two separate occasions she told me she had become a prisoner and couldn't believe this is how her life would end. She knew. The law actually protected the nursing home in Mamow's case. It is tragic, and it is happening every single day.

What has become of our society? We seem to have thrown out scripture that instructs us to care for "the least of these". A car accident, cancer, old age....each of these things change lives daily. You and I may not be disabled individuals right now, but we could be tomorrow. What is the future going to look like?

One lady actually accused me today of hating "typical" children. She obviously didn't take the time to learn I am a mother with two "typical" children that I love to pieces. (sigh) So, my arguments on behalf of the disabled community is turned upside down into a "Melanie hates normal people" session. How in the world did that even happen? (bigger sigh)


  1. That doesn't surprise me at all. I'm sorry you're having to deal with the ugly side of the community. Just think of everything Sarah Palin had to go through...is STILL going through. Being accused of lying about being Trig's mother?! Anyway, consider yourself to be in good company. And at least you are making waves. This can be interpreted in a positive way. People are noticing you. They are talking about the legislation. You are already making a difference.

  2. Dear Melanie,

    I wonder if someone from here could help? These are lawyers who help with the kind of ethical/sanctity of life issues you are speaking of (they do pro bono work. At the least, maybe you could get some good advise? : http://www.thomasmore.org/qry/page.taf?id=23

    "The Thomas More Law Center is a not-for-profit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life...."

    I have been praying for your sweet Hope.

  3. You're right...some things never cease to amaze me. Why on earth would people be angry because you DON'T want to lock innocent children in closets??????? There are some seriously crazy people out there!!!! Keep the faith & keep fighting for our children's rights.

  4. I only know you through your blog, and I realize that you don't hate "typical" people. There's nothing wrong with fighting for a better life for people who aren't able to do it themselves.

  5. Don't give up Melanie and try and keep your head up. Remember that you are doing all of this for such an important reason. I am behind you one trillion percent. Hugs and prayers.

  6. My husband and I think it is super awesome how you are pursuing this politically in the fight for the disabled...although my child is the one labeled "special needs", the Lord has often shown me that I'm the one that really needs the help!
    Have you heard of the singer in Nashville, Mark Shultz? He's actually adopted and ran a race for orphans. He's a great song writer...might be a neat advocate??