Today was a sad day for the Upper West Side Jewish community. Today, I, along with 3 other parents of special needs children, was informed that our children are not welcome in the communal Jewish day school.
The powers that be had spoken to nameless "professionals" and lay leaders and made a policy decision that they cannot accomodate children with down syndrome or other disabilities in their school. They do not have the facilities or necessary skill set (ie open mindedness) to help "children like that." Never mind the fact that we all know that there is a 10 year old boy with a chromosomal abnormality in their program who is THRIVING and doing well.
The school is confident that this is the right decision, despite the fact that they have not met my child or any of the other children in question. They have also not read any of the reports and evaluations, spoken to therapists or other professionals who know our children well.
The Jewish community can only turn away for so long. The prevalence of special needs in the Jewish community is growing, along with the neeed for a Jewish education for all our children.
I cannot say that I am surprised. But I will say that I am still deeply disappointed.