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"Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do," Says Disabled Valedictorian in Louisiana
The Alexandria, LA, Daily Town Talk ^ | 05-23-03 | Crooks, Sarah

Posted on 05/23/2003 6:00:43 AM PDT by Theodore R.

Edited on 05/07/2004 6:49:39 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

He made a 32 on the ACT.

He has a 4.0 grade-point average.

He'll be honored tonight as one of Tioga High School's valedictorians of the class of 2003.

But Damein Delrie started his academic career in special-education classes.

"Back then, if you had a disability, they automatically put you in special ed," said Damein, 17. "It was the only way they had to meet your needs."


(Excerpt) Read more at thetowntalk.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: alexandria; commencements; delrie; disabled; la; tioga; valedictorian
It's refreshing to see people overcome the odds against them.
1 posted on 05/23/2003 6:00:43 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
What odds were against him? He has a physical disability, not a mental disability!
2 posted on 05/23/2003 6:03:24 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: Theodore R.
I love to read stories like this! For a brief time early in my career I worked in the Orthopedic Wing of a Special Education school. I saw kids like Damein, who had an indefatigable spirit inside what others percieved to be a "broken" body. Always made me pause when I was tempted to complain about my own life problems.
3 posted on 05/23/2003 6:07:30 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
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To: COBOL2Java
percieved = perceived

'i' before 'e', except after 'c'....sigh

4 posted on 05/23/2003 6:08:20 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
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To: Theodore R.
Half the time, I really don't think of myself as having a disability," Damein said.

That's understandable. If you're born that way, that's just the way you are--you're not used to any other way.

5 posted on 05/23/2003 6:10:34 AM PDT by wimpycat ('Nemo me impune lacessit')
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To: Theodore R.
Sounds like a great kid, but where are the parents? Did they dump on him?
6 posted on 05/23/2003 6:12:52 AM PDT by T Minus Four
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Many people quietly yield to the odds against them. This student instead chose to fight to overcome the odds. A physical handicap is too much for many to overcome.
7 posted on 05/23/2003 6:18:27 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Theodore R.
Fair enough, though as the article stated, he could count to 100 when he was a year old!
10 posted on 05/23/2003 6:29:36 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: Theodore R.
as one of Tioga High School's valedictorians

Nice story, but how many valedictorians are there? We used to have just one. Is everyone on the football team a captain?

11 posted on 05/23/2003 6:31:03 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Mr. Bird
It may be that with grade inflation there are four or five with all A's -- 4.0. Of course, this boy is not the one responsible for grade inflation. Grade inflation is popular in every state -- parents like it, students "benefit" from it, administrators encourage it, reporters turn a blind eye to it.
12 posted on 05/23/2003 6:38:26 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
Great article from Louisiana.

Games Uniting Mind and Body Organization

Hey, that's GUMBO!

13 posted on 05/23/2003 6:40:28 AM PDT by HAL9000
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To: Theodore R.
exactly, now if these cry babies and whiners who complain they cannot get a job would have this same attitude.
14 posted on 05/23/2003 6:44:02 AM PDT by RomanCatholicProlifer
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To: Theodore R.
Also grade inflation has its down-side: do the people who endorse grade inflation really want a brain surgeon performing on them who was a lifelong "beneficiary" of grade inflation?
15 posted on 05/23/2003 6:47:33 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
"Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do," Says Disabled Valedictorian in Louisiana

I'll tell you what you can't do:

- Be a linebacker for an NFL football team.
- Be a performer in Cirque de Soliel.
- Invent the next dance craze. Hey Macarena!
- Become an astronaut, unless it is as 'cargo'.

That do for a start?

--Boris

16 posted on 05/23/2003 6:52:46 AM PDT by boris (Education is always painful; pain is always educational)
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To: boris
With that kind of attitude we would all be speaking German.
17 posted on 05/23/2003 7:00:02 AM PDT by Orange1998
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To: boris
Well, Boris, you can qualify for the "meanie" of the day -- just telling the truth can make one "mean" in this Age of Clinton.
18 posted on 05/23/2003 7:00:23 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Orange1998
"With that kind of attitude we would all be speaking German."

And why--specifically--is that?

Did you notice I did not tell him he could not become the successor to Stephen Hawking?...

Or a best-selling novelist like Tom Clancy?...

=========================

The problem at the root here is 'radical egalitarianism' which is slowly strangling us to death. Some people are simply better at some pursuits than others.

Every time I see a bunch of fat girls in the cheerleading squad it reminds me of how far we have fallen.

Being rotund myself, I did not insist on a place in my high-school football team's roster. I *DID* play chess for our 'varsity' team, though.

No, sorry, a cripple cannot become a champion high-diver.

Do you suppose Christopher Reeve is still in demand to play 'Superman'?

Life is tough that way sometimes.

--Boris

19 posted on 05/23/2003 7:08:27 AM PDT by boris (Education is always painful; pain is always educational)
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Unfortunately, you are judged based on physical appearance. It sounds like he was raised normally...thank God for that! I have a 12 year old autistic child who some have given up on but lately he is telling me he wants to grow up and be dad. Maybe he will!
20 posted on 05/23/2003 7:35:40 AM PDT by Mfkmmof4
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To: boris; Orange1998; Theodore R.; ItisaReligionofPeace
The problem at the root here is 'radical egalitarianism' which is slowly strangling us to death. Some people are simply better at some pursuits than others.

I am in complete sympathy with that view. Everybody is different.

I had a different take on the story, however. Everybody is different, and, in one sense, everyone has a handicap, its just that most handicaps (another way of saying we are different) are not visible, or not considered handicaps.

Everytime I see somebody hop out of a car they've just parked in a handicapped spot, I say as loudly as I can to my wife, "Honey, anybody who parks in a handicapped spot has something wrong with them."

Show me anybody colleting a free income because of some handicap, and I'll show you somebody with the same handicap who's making it on his own. In this case, I thought the statement, "Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do," meant, "hey, we all can't do something, why concentrate on that. I'll concentrate on what I can do.

Hank

21 posted on 05/23/2003 7:39:04 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: Mfkmmof4
As long as the possibility remains don't ever give up. And ban the word "can't" from your vocabulary. I prefer "He WILL be a dad someday" (no maybe to it).
22 posted on 05/23/2003 7:44:38 AM PDT by muskogee
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To: Theodore R.
If Damein's parents had been told before birth that he would be disabled the medical establishment would have recommended his mother have an abortion. They would have argued that it would be wrong to bring a child into the world who was disabled.

This story shows us why God allows people to be born with disablities. They are here to be an inspiration to the rest of us.

I worked with the developmentally disabled for seventeen years. Many times, when I visited their work sites, I was told by their co-workers that they could not maintain a negative attitude when they saw the joy of the disabled person at being allowed the chance to work and be independent.
23 posted on 05/23/2003 7:58:42 AM PDT by redheadtoo
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To: muskogee
Excellent point!! My son continues to amaze me!
24 posted on 05/23/2003 8:10:02 AM PDT by Mfkmmof4
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To: Hank Kerchief
Everytime I see somebody hop out of a car they've just parked in a handicapped spot, I say as loudly as I can to my wife, "Honey, anybody who parks in a handicapped spot has something wrong with them."

I take it you would have fun disparaging my father who had emphysema. I don't think he "hopped" out of a car, but he wasn't "crippled" like you expect handicapped people to be.

25 posted on 06/03/2003 10:59:29 AM PDT by stands2reason
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