Teague talks special education with Paterson’s special ed chief | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Teague talks special education with Paterson’s special ed chief

By Corey Teague
Published: November 22, 2019


I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Ms. Cheryl Coy, chief of special education. During our meeting we discussed a plethora of issues including one day changing the designation of the district’s special education program to “Exceptional Learners” program.

Over the years, the term special education has had many connotations. Both positive and even negative. Being the father of a child who attends school under the banner of special education I know all too well about this.

All children are exceptional learners. They just learn at different levels, different paces and by different methods. It’s not that one is better than the other. It’s that they learn at different levels. As a newly elected school board member, I plan to institute and rally for this name change once I am officially sworn in to office.

In fact, I am already working to see if the programs designation can be changed. This is personal for me. And I’m sure the feedback from the public will be positive. I am one who thinks outside of the box. And this is just a small example of what I plan to bring to the school board.

We need to change the narrative. There is nothing wrong with being special. In fact, being special is exceptional. So, let’s start using that term. Let’s change the designation. Let’s change the energy. Words have power. We must use them wisely.

Written by school board member-elect Corey Teague

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