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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.



  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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January 20, 2009



A very shocking story indeed - made worse by the fact that it happened in the 'haven' of school. It's incomprehensible and totally unacceptable.

Deacon Pat Kearns

I enjoyed reading your blog.....

God's peace to you.

Deacon Pat

Dan Wright

Thanks Pat--you have a very nice blog as well. I've actually know about it since before your ordination. I especially like the music and your approach to evangelization.


It's perhaps the new overreaction of a police state. Long ago, my father held folks hostage whenever he felt like it. I remember the night he was armorially ready for the whole P.D. to come; he promised to go beserk. Nowadays we see a S.W.A.T. going in for a guy threatening to shoot himself! Part of the problem is, most people need to spend more time in physical expenditure preferably outdoors. We all have too much energy to be inside 4 walls all day without our ending up thinking too much.

Anyway, yes, it was a completely stupid reaction. I think I would find the teacher who arranged this treatment for my child, and sit him or her down with spouse and self and principal and make sure all present understood the breadth of such stupidity.


Just awful. I find stories like this so disturbing.


I agree, Pia. I also find litigation (as an answer) being unnecessary and utterly mercenary. How does that salve any victim? It's just one more if benign form of violence against mankind.


I think that too often litigation is seen as the only way to proceed, especially in the US, where it seems to have become customary. I agree with you Carol. I think it should be enough that the story came out and has been made known, so that social awareness to these issues can be promoted. However, there are some situations in which the damage needs to be quantified and there needs to be a mediation between the parts, in particular with reference to the child, who may need to be helped professionally to overcome fears or difficulties springing from a traumatic episode. That costs money and above all, anquish for the families, unfortunately.

Dan Wright

Carol and Pia, I hear what you're saying about litigation, but please understand that more often than not litigation proceedings in education are not necessarily about getting money. Rather it's an unfortunate fact that in many cases parents feel forced to resort to litigation to insure that their children receive the services they are entitled to by right under laws such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

As a teacher I know the importance of good communication with parents and responsiveness to student needs (as well well as to parent wishes). Schools and teachers must also understand disability and be accepting and tolerant of individual differences. As a parent of a disabled child I know the power of due process.

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