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A Republican member of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation facing calls for his resignation publicly apologized Tuesday for his recent remarks about students with disabilities.
Promising to atone for his mistake by volunteering for the Special Olympics, Robert Scarduzio, a 32-year-old holding his first elected office, said his comments lacked compassion and understanding. "I'm really ashamed of what I said. I love this city and I never wanted to hurt your feelings," Scarduzio said after putting aside his speech. While one parent of a disabled student accepted the apology, a core of parents and teachers remained angered by Scarduzio's previous comments and continued their demands that he resign.
Scarduzio made the remarks in question during a budget presentation last week by Supt. of Schools Janet Robinson. During a discussion of the $465,000 increase to the special education budget, Scarduzio said, "Why are we putting all this money into special education when these students will be the least productive members of society?" During the public comment session Tuesday, Ray Lasky stood next to his 4-year-old son, Nicholas, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He said Scarduzio's comment "hurt me like nothing hurt me in my whole life."
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The guys' comment is so strictly republican. Not unexpected fromany one of them. Heartless bastards.
The same forces that cause someone to align themselves with Republicans may, in fact, contribute to the mentality we saw here ("everyone for themselves, survival of the strongest, cost vs. benefit"), but because life isn't black and white (why wouldn't we just have anarchy if it was?) I think most Republicans would recognize that to some extent society DOES exist to protect those unable to protect themselves. The line isn't "leave them to die" or "completely take care of them for their whole lives", but somewhere in between.
In other words, NEM, your comment is immature, simpleton, and out of line, and you should rescind it if you don't want to seem like an agitator and a demigouge.