Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
הרב יוסף גבריאל בקהופר
I think he's wrong to blame the school. The school can't change the world in which it operates. I know many people who didn't risk their children's shidduchim by speaking frankly and publically about various issues. As Avodah's mod, I've anonymized posts for that purpose. Is the school any different?That said, that is a worse condemnation of the olam hasheqer. Because I'm saying the problem isn't in a school or schools in general, but in the culture of the entire community.-michaPS: As a father of a child with Downs, I don't think inclusion is a good idea. Downs children aren't just kids who are a few years behind, they also learn in a different way and need instruction aimed at them.As for the chinukh of the other children, in the early years it's positive. The middos learned by having a special needs classmate are profound. However, eventually the classmates get old enough to see the child as a cheftzah shel mitzvah, not a peer or a friend.
Are there separate and effective schools for high functioning Downs' kids?
R' YGB touched on an important point. The preferred Jewish alternative to mainstreaming, when there is one, can be unavailable or unaffordable---not only for Down Syndrome but for a range of lesser conditions. Often, the Jewish school system as a whole, not just one component of it, shunts kids into the secular school system.