Whenever there’s a discussion about ‘inclusion’ or ‘reasonable adjustments’ in education, a cry of “It’s not fair!” will surely follow, like an echo of the playground refrains of our childhoods.
“We can’t let them get away with it!”
If we make exceptions for one child, the argument goes, then the other children will think the rules don’t matter. It will be a free-for-all. Anarchy will surely ensue.
Every single time I hear or read those sentiments, I think of Daniel Barrett*. I went to primary and secondary school with Daniel Barrett, and he became a notorious kid.
Truth be told, I was a little bit scared of Daniel Barrett. I remember one day in the lunch queue when he ran amok with an elastic band, flicking it on our faces, leaving red and white welts raised on our cheeks. I remember the sting of the rubber on my face, as well as the sting of shame that I, like all the other seven year olds, was afraid to raise my hand and alert the distant lunchtime…
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