WASHINGTON (CAP) - Vice President Joe Biden is championing the cause for public school funding, telling a group of educators that the government needs to do more to ensure the needs of all schoolchildren are met, "even the retards." He spoke at The Annual Conference Of Moderate Special Needs Teachers.
"I don't care if they are oriental retards, shylock retards, or re-retards: they deserve as much attention as kids who stand a chance," said Biden. "We can't just write them off, at least not until they're old enough to get a job bagging groceries or pumping gas."
Reaction to the vice president's comments was mixed, with younger teachers shaking their heads in disbelief and veteran teachers nodding and applauding. While not going so far as to defend Biden, many indicated that he was simply saying what most of them had been thinking.
"Except shylock. I don't think anyone has used that term since 1962," said one attendee. "Listening to Joe talk is like listening to your uncle tells stories after the stroke: no filter."
Biden said the challenge to providing funding for special education is getting funding from taxpayers who are tired of putting money into an educational system that cannot produce leaders any better than the ones we have. However, he said the time is right to "slip a couple bills through Congress" while the nation is too distracted tallying how many professional football players abused their children this week.
"Don't you worry, I'll find the money to help your little mental slowpokes learn how to ... umm, learn," he said. "And I think this week it was six."
The heightened focus on special education is part of President Obama's new No Undocumented Child Left Behind initiative. Biden said it's up to all of us to make sure that children are not a drain on the system until they're at least 18 years old.
"It's a team effort in the Obama administration," said Biden. "Michelle is focusing on the fatties and I'm rallying around the retards."
Biden told the group that his next focus will be on more recess for schoolchildren, noting that kids' conflict resolution skills would be greatly improved if given more opportunities to play games like war and cowboys and Indians.
- CAP News Staff