Stipulation: A Word Worth More Than Its Weight In Gold
This word "stipulation" is stuck in my mind. Sometimes, it keeps me up late at night. Sometimes, I ask God to please erase it from my mind. It is the word that closed HCDDS's (Formally Hamilton County MRDD) Frederick A. Breyer and sent kids from Margaret Rost and Bobbie B. Fairfax to their school district. It was the word that erased a valuabe resource in the community for children with very special needs. It was the word I read from the MR/dd superintendent when it was suggested she move the MR/dd offices into into Breyer School to save money and the school would be preserved. It was the word that nobody wanted to own but it was the word that everybody used to take our children's services away.
I wonder why this word ended up on the Hamilton County Tax Levy and why the Hamilton County Tax Levy Review Committee included it as part of the mental retardation tax levy. This word was so important that it had to be included before the levy would be considered for ballot. This word "stipulation" had to go on the levy to close a school but not to be used to move MR/dd offices at Malsbury, a rented facility, into a building they already own. It was the word somebody used when I asked why Maximus overlooked this valuable piece of real estate, our school, to be considered for offices space that MR/dd superintendent had budgeted into this tax levy instead of seeing our school as "empty."
This word "stipulation" is the first word I thought of upon arriving to the Forum in May 2005 when the Mr/dd schools were pitted against each other to see who would be the 2 lucky schools to open and it the word I cursed when I found out the bus staff knew Breyer was closing at the beginning of the school year in September 2004. This word stuck to me when I was walking past the empty MR/dd board room on my way to another meeting room to attend the MR/dd Board Meeting on June 14, 2005. It was the word I heard discussed by 3 board members and a Superintendent to pass a motion to close my daughter's school. It is this word whose weight is worth more than gold for people in power and it is the word that took my daughter's and others like her, their gold from them, their right to an individualized special education.