Too Smart to be Disabled? Protecting America's Students

A request to create a law protecting above average disabled students.

Zane Reitmayer is a 13 year-old gift and talented student in Newburg, Maryland. Zane is a wonderful student and a great kid with unlimited potential. Unfortunately, Zane is also moderately hearing impaired.

Zane?s hearing has gotten worse recently and his parents felt it was time to make an official plan with his school. Until now, they had just been talking to teachers trying to make things a little easier for him where they could. It was suggested by the county audiologist, that some changes in his curriculum be made, and a team meeting of the staff was going to determine what was to be offered to him.

Zane?s mother was told that he was to receive no additional services or modified curriculum because he is ?too smart to be disabled.? It was explained to her that due to the fact that he was in the highest level of gifted classes in the county, he was well above normal and the state is only mandated to help children achieve the level of average.

Don?t you think that our students deserve better than this? If this one child, who if he has his way will be designing the next generation of space craft, cannot be given simple accommodations for his disability because he is too smart, how many more children are not getting the services they so desperately need? How can we leave the next generation to be merely average?

Several states require students be given the best possible education when it comes to learners with disabilities. Maryland is not one of those states. Maryland simply conforms to the 1982 Hendrick Hudson Central School System v. Rowley Supreme Court decision that states that disabled students only need to be brought to average. This needs to change in this country. Students need to be given the opportunity to achieve the highest level of education they can. With out a law protecting our above-average and gifted students, these students are destined to fail.

We, the undersigned request that a new law be created in the United States that protects students right to the best possible education. This is to include granting modified curiculum, additional services, and any other learning aids to children in advanced and gifted education.