I am going to rip a couple of educational institutions tonight.
The first issue I have is with a community college in New Mexico and their treatment of a disabled gentleman who was not allowed to go on stage to accept his diploma.
Honestly, when I first heard about this story I thought that it was a joke, but sadly, it appears that it is true.
"Two weeks before the commencement, Bashir said that an activities supervisor informed him that, because of safety concerns, he would not be allowed to use the ramp to the stage to accept his diploma. The student took the issue to the dean and the disabilities office. The response from Diana Myklebust, CNM Administrative Technical Assistant, was an email that read in part, “…because of safety concerns the decision to not allow wheelchairs onto the stage area stands." The report did not explain what the ‘safety concerns’ were specifically.
Bashir was disappointed and told the station, "I'm not allowed to go up on stage to get my degree. I have got to go to the bottom of the stage and not get that shining moment like everybody else was getting.” The milestone was marred. “They didn’t hear my name being called. They didn’t see me getting my degree in hand. They just saw me rolling back to my sitting position,” the graduate told KOB." [Source]
How much would it cost this school to build a ramp that would allow Mr. Bashir ---and other disabled students--- to get on and off the stage in a safe manner?
Why should disabled students be denied the joy of being able to go on stage and accept their diplomas while their family members look on?
I think that Central New Mexico Community College needs to check their ADA compliance statement. An accommodation such as this would not create an "undue hardship" and given the circumstances it certainly seems reasonable.
The other issue I have is with New Jersey's flagship university, although it is more with the students there than the university itself.
They actively protested against having Condoleeza Rice speak at their commencement causing her to decline the invitation to appear.
That is not cool. College students should be critical thinkers who can sit through an address for an hour or so wishing them success in life from a former secretary of state.
Now understand this, I am in the camp that believes that Condi, and some of her neo con friends should have been sitting in a defendant's box at the international criminal court in the Hague, but since this is not going to happen anytime soon, I say let her speak.
Protesting her right to speak just lends credibility to the right and their spurious claim that liberals and those on the left suppress free speech and open debate.
It's all such a shame, poor Condi, I am sure that she had her day all figured out: Finish her speech in New Brunswick and then head into Manhattan to do some serious shoe shopping.
Sorry Condi, maybe next time.
Finally, another day another dumb comment from a republican politician.
(No, not the one about anal sex.)
Congressional candidate Bob Johnson of Georgia would rather have another terrorist attack than have to put up with that evil government agency, the TSA.
“Now this is going to sound outrageous, I’d rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen,” he said. “Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?” [Source]
Here is hoping that the next time Al -Qaeda decides to fly a plane into a building, you will be sitting right up there in first class.