This is beautiful

Remember the scene in the movie Mask (the Cher-Elephant man flick) where the boy is sent to a camp for blind children, so that he won’t be embarassed by his disfigurement? If you do, you may recall that they held a birthday party for one of the children — and I laughed out loud in the theatre, much to the chagrin of my date, at the sight of balloons, party streamers, and other decorations. After all, what was the point?

Well, in similar fashion, here’s a lovely item from Chicagoland:

(AP) CHICAGO Most high school students eagerly await the day they pass driver’s education class. But 16-year-old Mayra Ramirez is indifferent about it.

Ramirez is blind, yet she and dozens of other visually impaired sophomores in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam in order to graduate — a rule they say takes time away from subjects they might actually use.

“In other classes, you don’t really feel different because you can do the work other people do,” Ramirez said. “But in driver’s ed, it does give us the feeling we’re different. In a way, it brought me down, because it reminds me of something I can’t do.”

Hundreds of school districts in Illinois require students to pass driver’s ed, although the state only requires that districts offer the courses. A state education official says districts that require it should exempt disabled students.

“It defies logic to require blind students to take this course,” Meta Minton, spokeswoman for the state Board of Education, told the Chicago Tribune in a Friday story.

And we wonder why our schools are so screwed up.

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