The Short Bus

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In the summer we got a writing assignment. For this assignment we had to read the book The Short Bus and write a paper about it. Later on after school had started and time had passed the author of the book, Jonathan Mooney came in and had a presentation with us. Now I will be writing about the many different implications, both positive and negative, of being labeled different in our society. Also, I will describe and justify my ethical response to the use of words as weapons against others.

Being labeled in our society is not necessarily a bad thing, it could be good. A good thing that comes from this is it helps you understand if someone is mentally handicapped. For an example, if someone has a mental handicap they could be considered “slow” and that is a nicer thing to say than “retarded” so to speak. Also, another reason this would be good is because in many schools special services are offered to those who are “different”. Tutoring, extended times on tests, alternative courses, and even a dedicated classroom can all be offered. But, in order to be qualified for those offerings, you would have to have the label of being mentally handicapped. My thought on this would be that many people that have mental handicaps already know that they are the way they are. They also usually accept the fact that they have a disability that many others do not have.

On the other hand, there are unfortunately some bad things in this. Labels can be a very hurtful thing to a lot of individuals. Labels can add to prejudice and discriminations. They could also prevent or discourage you from getting to know someone. Being called gay, retard, or even an idiot are all forms of discrimination. If someone is homosexual or mentally handicapped they can most definitely not help it, it was the way they were born. I’m sure that most people that have these “problems” so to speak already feel like an outcast and giving people labels just makes the situation a lot worse and more painful....
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