[nobe-l] FW: Hearing, NC School for the Blind

Hyde, David W. (ESC) david.hyde at wcbvi.k12.wi.us
Fri Oct 28 13:20:08 UTC 2011

Hundreds turn out to support Eastern NC School for the Deaf in...
Steve Sbraccia
Published: September 28, 2011
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Frustration and anger dominated a hearing over whether to shut down a school for
the blind in
Wednesday night.
The newly enacted state budget requires
North Carolina
to close either
the Governor
Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh
, the
Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf
or the
North Carolina School for the Deaf
in Morganton.
closed school
would then have its students sent to one of the two remaining schools.
At the public hearing, there were a lot of people furious that blind and deaf students
are being pitted against each other.
“This is an abominable act,” said
James Benton
, a 1978 Graduate of
Morehead School
. “To be quite frank, the state of
North Carolina
ought to be ashamed at having put us into this position.”
“The process that pits the interests of blind students against deaf students is repellant
and repugnant to me,” said
John DeLuca
, who wants Morehead kept open.
Many at the meeting rejected the General Assembly’s contention that the state can
consolidate schools for the blind and deaf.
“Who would mix the deaf and blind community? There is no justification for that,”
Shane Faircloth
, who graduated from the
Morehead School
in 2008.
For those who’ve attended the
, it’s more than a place to learn.
“The teachers there and the staff there are like your mom and dad,’’ said student
Wanisha Richardson
. “I have a dad there, I have moms, aunts and uncles - I have a family.”
But the public hearings are just part of the process.
“The public hearings are not a vote, they are not a rally,” said
Tom Winton
, who is with the Department of Public Instruction’s committee that will have to
decide which school will be closed. “We don’t sit around and tally how many people
spoke on behalf of this school or that school.”
also says it’s hard for
to be involved in closing a school.
“I’ve been
a teacher
of the visually impaired; I worked with teachers who are deaf. I have friends, colleagues
who are deaf or hard of hearing,” he explained. “It is an emotional thing; it just
Even so,
must help draft a report by Jan. 15 that will recommend which school to close.
The Raleigh school was established in 1845
and is the
eighth-oldest school
for the blind in the
United States
. It has been at its present location in
, not far from N.C. State, since 1923.

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