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October 31, 2014

Wasilla Candidate Says Some Children Not Worth Educating

There were some interesting revelations in a debate last week at the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce candidates forum. The debate participants were the two Republicans who will square off in the August 28 primary for State House – Lynn Gattis and Mark Ewing. Democratic candidate Blake Merrifield, the only Democrat in the race, was not invited to this event.

There seemed to be few surprises – both are in favor of the Knik Arm Bridge, both are in favor of Pebble Mine, but soon Mr. Ewing distinguished himself. After talking about cutting the operating budget, he cited education as one of the problems. The Frontiersman reports:

“I got to be honest with you, I am not in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act,” Ewing said. “We are spending millions and millions of dollars educating children that have a hard time making their wheelchair move and, I’m sorry, but you’ve got to say, ‘no’ somewhere. We need to educate our children, but there are certain individuals that are just not going to benefit from an education.”

Children that have a hard time making their wheelchair move? Sorry, Stephen Hawking. According to the assessment of the gentleman from Wasilla, you just wouldn’t benefit from an education in the Wasilla public schools. And I wonder if Mr. Ewing would turn away a certain soon-to-be student in the school district named Trig Palin? I want to be a fly on the wall for that encounter.

Gattis, a sitting member of the Mat-Su Borough School Board, disagreed with Ewing’s assessment.

“We define ourselves by how we treat our elderly and our less fortunate and our special needs people,” she said.

Both candidates also support the controversial coal exploration project at Wishbone Hill in nearby Sutton.

“I think we should be supportive of business,” Gattis said. “It would be a shame to be a business and somebody didn’t like you and they made the choice to put you out of business.”

It would also be a shame to be a homeowner and have somebody “not like you” and they made the choice to make your property value tank, and covered your school and your town with coal dust. It would also be a shame to pollute salmon habitat that hasn’t even recovered from the last coal project almost a hundred years ago. That would also be “a shame.”

Our friend Mr. Ewing went even further.

“I love coal. I love the smell of burning coal in the morning,” he said. “I think that No. 1 coal seam we have up there is a gold mine.”

 

Mmmmmmm…. Fill your lungs with the sweet, sweet perfume. Ahhhh…. It just makes you want to breathe deep, beat your chest, and run around the block. Nothing like it.

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21 Responses to “Wasilla Candidate Says Some Children Not Worth Educating”
  1. Duane says:

    Lynn’s support for the Knik Arm Bridge may have something to do with the fact that she owns a hay farm at Pt McKenzie. Land values are bound to rise there if a bridge is ever built.

    She is also still a supporter or at least an apologist for Sarah Palin which is confounding. She truly likes her. I’m afraid this primary is a case of picking the lesser of two evils, which really means, you are still choosing evil.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      How is the Dem who was not invited to this speak fest?

      • Jeanne Devon says:

        Blake Merrifield is terrific. A very “Alaska” oriented candidate who will hopefully get his message across.

    • Sourdough Mullet says:

      Ms. Gattis is also a big “supporter” of a nefarious deal whereby the Mat Su Borough wants to purchase several parcels of Ag land at Pt. MacKenzie for a railroad easement (presumably to transfer coal to the port).
      The funny thing is, the MSB doesn’t have legal authority to obtain the land, even though the Borough lawyer doesn’t seem to care, because the land in question is former state land, purchased by Ms. Gattis and her husband as Agricultural land. It was purchased with the caveat that it will only be used for Agricultural purposes. She knows that too, but doesn’t care, as she stands to gain millions in the deal. Worth checking into.

  2. OtterQueen says:

    As much as I hate to complement Mrs. Palin’s progeny, I have to say that Trig is seriously cute.

  3. Judi says:

    I am legal guardian of a child that I have raised since she was three. She now is 37. I consider her my daughter.

    She is severely physically and mentally disabled. She has CP, is in a wheelchair, has a seizure disorder, is severely mentally retarded (profound is the term), has a feeding tube, and is total care.

    I still consider her WORTH IT to educate. the education is just different..geared more towards her needs. Thankfully the school district up until she was 22 agreed.

  4. Diane says:

    Mr. Ewing is a disgusting example of tea party republicans at their best. And I’m sure he considers himself pro life!!!!
    This is a perfect example of the republicans twisted pro life agenda. Life begins at conception and the hell with you after you are born.
    Republicans, when they push their pro life agenda do not accept the reality that severely handicapped children will be born and survive and will need support for the rest of their lives.

    And leenie17 was right on the mark. Trig should be wearing his glasses and hearing aids all the time. He should have been receiving services from the time he was born till he goes to school to maximize his potential.
    This is what made me soooo angry at palin, carrying this child all over the first year of his life.
    I doubt he was able to receive these services.

  5. leenie17 says:

    Actually, Trig should NOT be a ‘soon-to-be student’ in the district. He SHOULD be an ‘already-receiving-services student’.

    He should already be getting OT, PT, speech/language, audiological and possibly vision and/or Teacher of the Deaf services. The younger you start providing early intervention, the more successful it is. As a child with clearly significant physical and cognitive issues, he should have started multiple therapies long before now.

    Unfortunately, since I’ve rarely seen him wearing the glasses and hearing aids I’ve heard that he requires for his vision and hearing losses, I don’t have too much hope that he’s receiving the level and variety of intervention services he should be getting. In his case, that would likely involve the active participation of his parents in continuous and aggressive follow-up at home in order to be truly effective.

    Having worked with kids with physical disabilities for nearly 30 years, I’ve seen what aggressive and consistent intervention, started as early as possible, can do to help a child achieve their potential…and what the lack of those services can do to hurt and delay their progress.

    • leenie17 says:

      I know a young lady with severe CP who is non-verbal, non-ambulatory and uses a power wheelchair with assistive communication devices. Her elementary school refused to let her in the library because they were afraid “she might drool on the books”. They had an attitude similar to Mr. Ewing, assuming that this girl’s cognitive limitations were as significant as her physical limitations.

      Her mother, an amazing and incredibly devoted woman who never let her daughter’s disability stop her from doing anything, had a cow and threatened to sue the district. They relented and let her use the library.

      That young lady is now in college, studying business.

    • leenie17 says:

      I also served on an advisory board years ago with an amazing man who is both deaf and blind. He was the first deaf-blind person to receive a Master’s degree (from NYU), and got through his entire education using tactile manual spelling – his interpreter spelled EVERY WORD into his hand, letter by letter. He’s traveled all over the world giving lectures, directed a nationally respected program at the Helen Keller National Center on Long Island, written several books (including 2 books of poetry), and been awarded two honorary doctorates.

      When Barbara Walters was being interviewed herself a few years ago, she was asked, of all the people she’d interviewed over the years – kings, presidents, movie stars, the famous and the infamous – which person had the greatest impact on her. Without hesitation, she replied, “Robert Smithdas”. I was shocked because I hadn’t realized that Bob had been interviewed by her (not once but twice!), but could easily understand why she was so impressed. He’s by far one of the smartest people I know!

      Can you tell that people like Ewing get my panties in a tight little twist?!?!

  6. Mo says:

    Yet another example of why it’s now immoral to be a Republican.

  7. Alaska Pi says:

    I’ll let other people address the reverse coal in the stocking routine going on here but I’m going to say it really, really, really torches my shorts to hear such ableist horsepunky come out of a potential legislator!
    First- Mr Ewing- you either are or are dang near conflating physical special needs with developmental special needs. That is a slap in the face of all who have special needs! Are you one of those doofs who yell a word at a time at anyone in a wheelchair because you think their ears and brains are automatically suspect because their legs don’t work?!
    Pffft! AKM came up with one of the best examples of how utterly sicko wrong that is as regards the need for education of all citizens.
    There are multitudes of examples of folks with developmental special needs as well who have made the best use possible of their education, including learning work and life skills which allow for personal control of their lives and being able to hold a job.
    So – howz about your district leaves you behind ? That I could get behind and fervently hope happens.

  8. beaglemom says:

    It certainly is true that we should be defined by how we treat the elderly and those who have disabilities and those who do not have much in the way of worldly goods. Unfortunately we are well on the way to being defined by how we mistreat them. The Republicans simply want to set everyone who is not white, rich and in perfect health aside and pretend that everyone else does not exist.

    And why not pollute, keep polluting, pay no attention to what we are deliberately doing to the earth and to its resources. Current Republican candidates will not be around in the year 2100 when the earth’s temperature will be significantly higher than now. What do they care? They don’t even care about their own children or their children’s children. So how can we expect them to care for other people’s children?

    I simply have personally had enough of the Republican Party. From now on, I’ll say “no” to anyone who is stupid enough to be a Republican. In fact, when a local candidate calls or comes door to door, I ask for their party affiliation and I’m not shy about telling Republicans why I will never vote for one of them.

    Well, politics makes me grumpy. But today I feel like celebrating President Obama’s birthday! It’s very hot here and we’ll have a cheese, baguette, salad and wine supper with ice cream and fresh local peaches for dessert. And raise a glass in honor of our president!

  9. Zyxomma says:

    Mark Ewing loves the smell of coal burning in the morning? Obviously, he’s more brain-damaged than the special needs children he does not consider worth educating. As any amateur rock hound can tell you, a coal mine is never a gold mine. It’s always a coal mine. Just sayin’ …

  10. KAA says:

    Stunning, yet not unexpected. Sadly.

Trackbacks
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  1. [...] a local candidate in Alaska did not feel it was worth educating some children with special needs (http://www.themudflats.net/?p=32511) because it cost too much.  These were comments from Wasilla, AK, the same town that former Gov [...]

  2. [...] a local candidate in Alaska did not feel it was worth educating some children with special needs (http://www.themudflats.net/?p=32511) because it cost too much.  These were comments from Wasilla, AK, the same town that former Gov [...]

  3. [...] 22, 2012 by Zach Wisniewski While I don’t typically blog a lot about Alaskan politics, this entry from Mudflats caught my eye as something worth bringing up for discussion. As was reported by Mudflats, a few [...]

  4. [...] had intended to post an essay mocking the statements of Wasillan Mark Ewing, candidate for the State House, at the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce [...]



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