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should special needs students be able to go to public schools ?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 408 times Debate No: 73797
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Special needs are those who are challenged mentally or physically. In the occurence of equallity now a days, and people being more open minded i believe that this, like same sex marraige, should be a very important matter to look into. We shall make every human being feel "normal" no matter what they choose to be or are in life, as long as it doesnt effect those around him/her. By allowing special needs to participate and be able to be enrolled in a public school it breaks the limitations put against them and help those around them understand and accept special needs like they accept their other peers.


Being accepted by the crowd is not a cure for the limitations of physical and mental disability. Socially imposing the acceptance of other races and sexual orientations is straightforward because they only differ in irrelevant ways. However, dealing with severe mental disabilities is beyond the capability of average people (no less children). I know a previously normal guy, who suffered head trauma from a car accident; he subsequently lost all his friends, because his personality became vicious, and impossible to tolerate, as a result of the brain damage. Even well intentioned people have their breaking point.

For the sake of argument, even if acceptance was a panacea, I propose that enforcing it would prove untenable in any non-trivial circumstance (the case of autism is particularly relevant here).

There are a number of aspects to consider:

Enforced social reality, equality, and the ineffectual repression of base instinct

Egalitarianism as political doctrine is all well and good, but trying to dismantle social hierarchy within a closed peer group will lead to sublimation (and subsequent cultivation *) of the status seeking drive, rather than elimination. Bombarding someone with the semiotics of equality while they are simultaneously being targeted for relational aggression from their peers will do nothing but exaggerate their frustration and confusion - particularly for those unable to properly relate to the symbolic dimension of social interaction.

* Rick roderick on Nietzsche. Elaboration on how Christian repression of sex drive paradoxically eroticises and elevates sexuality in brand new ways:

Outsiders, the uncanny, abjection and cognitive dissonance

People fundamentally distrust and exclude outsiders - often passive-aggressively. Someone who either does not identify with the symbolic order, or is completely oblivious to it, is a perpetual outsider, both from their own perspective, as well as that of others. People, when confronted by otherness divorced from the protectiveness of the Big Other*, experience trauma in direct relation to how strongly they personally identify with the symbolic order. The difference between soldier or murderer, freedom-fighter or terrorist, lies in their relation to the symbolic order. Outsiders, through their "off" behaviour produce a nagging feeling of revulsion similar to the uncanny "creepy doll" sensation (the phenomenon appears often in gothic literature in form of the abject human). Cognitive problems may preclude an outsider from learning how to successfully fake their way through social protocols.

From wikipedia:
"The abject human subject is a not-quite-human subject, characterized by its morphic variability, continually in danger of becoming not-itself, becoming other.[7]"

"The concept of abjection is best described as the process by which one separates their sense of self – be that physical and biological, social or cultural – from that which they consider intolerable and infringes upon their ‘self’, otherwise known as the abject. The abject is, as such, the “me that is not me” (Kristeva, "Powers of Horror" (1982), p. 5)."

"The concept of abjection is often coupled with the idea of the uncanny, the concept of something being "un-home-like", or foreign, yet familiar.[13] The abject can be uncanny in the sense that we can recognize aspects in it, despite its being "foreign": a corpse, having fallen out of the symbolic order, creates abjection through its uncanniness[14] — creates a cognitive dissonance."


Pretence towards open-mindedness

In short, people overestimate their level of openness. In popular usage, open-minded tends to be more of a label used to signal certain progressive political affinities, rather than what the word might normally imply. Let's explore the definition (via negation) at wikipedia:

"Closed-mindedness, or an unwillingness to consider new ideas, can result from the brain's natural dislike for ambiguity. According to this view, the brain has a "search and destroy" relationship with ambiguity and evidence contradictory to people's current beliefs tends to make them uncomfortable by introducing such ambiguity".

Many self described open-minded people will severely lash out at unfashionable or taboo ideas. Given the current cultural context in the West, endorsing homosexuality doesn't qualify as open-minded in the true sense of the word. Homosexuality has the blessing of the symbolic order; people who support it are merely reinforcing the dominant paradigm. True open-mindedness is seemingly a rare quality, even amongst professions where one would normally expect or demand it - e.g. philosophy.

The school system

The primary function of schools is to properly integrate children into the symbolic order (indoctrination, discipline), and provide skills and knowledge that are relevant to the labor market. Different mental disabilities cause different issues when achieving these goals. A standard school experience is likely to hold certain types back and further alienate them. Specialised education seems superior for them by all accounts. It has been suggested, for example, that functioning autists be trained for software testing, since the repetitive and unambiguous nature of the work is well suited to them. They would also benefit from extensive training in how to deal with social cues - something that normal people don't need to be explicitly explained to them in a classroom.

Ideaology, unwritten rules, and hyperreality

Regarding the statement: "We shall make every human being feel "normal" no matter what they choose to be or are in life, as long as it doesn't effect those around him/her."

Explicitly declaring everyone to be normal does not make it so. The unwritten, implicit, rules of society are what defines it more than the explicit ones. An interesting example, in the context of Stalinist Russia, is given by "i"ek:

"Imagine a session of the central committee where someone stands up and starts to criticize Stalin. Now, everyone knows this was prohibited. But that’s the catch. Imagine someone else standing up and saying: “But listen, are you crazy? Don’t you know that it’s prohibited to criticize comrade Stalin?” I claim the second one would be arrested earlier than the first one. Because although everybody knew that it’s prohibited to criticize Stalin, this prohibition itself was prohibited. The appearance had to be unconditionally maintained that it is allowed to criticize Stalin, but simply why criticize him since he’s so good. The appearance of a free choice had to be sustained."

I propose that universal acceptance is incompatible with Consumerism; as the underlying driving force behind culture in the U.S.A, it precludes any possibility of manifestation, regardless of whatever patronizing morality is being publically advertised. Consider the explaination of the postmodern condition via Hyperreality:

From wikipedia:
"Hyperreality is significant as a paradigm to explain current cultural conditions. Consumerism, because of its reliance on sign exchange value (e.g. brand X shows that one is fashionable, car Y indicates one's wealth), could be seen as a contributing factor in the creation of hyperreality or the hyperreal condition. Hyperreality tricks consciousness into detaching from any real emotional engagement, instead opting for artificial simulation, and endless reproductions of fundamentally empty appearance. "

Thus, how you flag semiotically becomes more important than what you actually are in reality. An amusing Tinder experiment illustrating this was performed here:

The responses to "Dave" were particularly hilarious, even more so when considering the fact that nothing they were doing, or wearing, is financially out of reach of the majority of the population:

- “NO NEVER IN A MILLION GODD*MN YEARS. This privileged f*ck, first of all, which one is he? Does it even matter? No, because all polo shirts are interchangeable.” —bi/white

- For the record, not interested in any of those white frat boys in that picture.” —straight/Asian

- “I can’t tell which of these four dudes he is, but I don’t want to date The Man.” —bi/white

- “they all look like finance bros which might be the worst subcategory of bro.” —straight/white

- “Not sure which one of these guys is Dave, but that doesn’t matter, because they all seem like Republican d-bags. Also: Pleated khakis? No.” —gay/white

- “SO WHITE” —queer/Asian

- “golf. overabundance of white dudes. who is Dave? Dave is legion. a legion of golf-playing white dude demons.” —pansexual/white

Consider also, that this is being directed at people who are about as bland and normal as you can get. What chance does someone with severe mental disabilities have in interacting with this type of culture? Sure you can make an explicit rule that makes it taboo to criticise the disabled, but people will still passively and uncomfortably distance themselves.

Unfortunately, the basis surrounding the Pro position of this debate seems more about the self-congratulatory nature of ideology, rather than actual problem solving. Equality is a good thing (tm), so we can be proud of ourselves when we enforce it, regardless if the policy actually makes sense for the intended recipients or not.

Debate Round No. 1


maya97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


maya97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bman7720 1 year ago
Special needs children are already protected with the right to attend public schools... They attend under specialized programs.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 4God 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF.