In Korey Wise’s Shoes: Why Parents of Kids With Learning Disabilities Need To Be Concerned

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Wake up all the teachers [and parents] time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
‘Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and [going to jail]
When you teach the children teach em the very best you can
Korey Wise of Central Park 5

By now you have heard about Korey Wise of When They See Us. You may have even seen it or like millions, you keep telling yourself that you can’t bring yourself to watch it. If the latter is you, let me say this, YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO WATCH IT. I don’t know how else to put it.

Not only did I force myself to watch it- through the tears- I couldn’t stop. I was so outraged. So outraged that my initial outlet was to create a video of a call to action for both parents and teachers.

If you are reading this, chances are you or someone you know has a … Scratch that! Every human living in American needs to watch this movie, period! And if you are not moved to outrage that this could happen, then just stop here. DON’T read any further. That is the nicest I can put it.

Now, if you are reading this, chances are you or someone you know has a learning disability. That being the case, you should be concerned about the many children who may one day walk in Korey Wise’s shoes. Korey Wise wasn’t the first and will not be the last individual with a learning disability who has been manipulated and treated unfairly by the criminal justice system.

The question is, what are we doing? What will prevent what happened to Korey Wise from happening to some other unsuspecting, kid or adult who has a disability? As these people are more susceptible to an unfair system who wants to solve cases by ANY means.

At this point, I have to move on as if this system will continue to operate this way. As parents and teachers, our fight should be teaching what needs to be taught to help these individuals to advocate for themselves. Public schools and parents as a whole fall way short in teaching our children how to protect themselves against a system who fails to take into consideration their individual needs. The owness is on US.   

Disproportionate Impact

Black and Brown people and people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by incarceration. The non-profit group, RespectAbility, did a report a few years back that pointed out the fact that a third to a half of all use-of-force incidents with police involve a disabled person. It also highlighted the following:

  • The U.S. is home to 5 percent of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prison population.
  • More than 60 percent of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities.
  • While the U.S. Census reports that one in 5 Americans (20 percent) have a disability, the Bureau of Justice found that 32 percent of federal prisoners and 40 percent of jail inmates report at least one disability.

Let that sink in.

So what are you going to do? Join me! Let’s work together where we can. Parents need to commit to educating themselves about their child. Truly understanding what their disability is and how it impacts him/her as they live life outside of caring adults presence. Education is where I can make my impact. This summer I will use my platform(s) to educate parents and inform teachers how they can help educate their parents so that they can become a better advocate for their children. If you are new or haven’t visited my YouTube channel, please click here. You can follow me on Facebook here. Lastly, check out the video I did entitled, No More Korey Wise below.

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