Keep My School for Deaf Students

27 thoughts on “Keep My School for Deaf Students”

  1. Jehanne,

    Amazing message from you, especially at your age. Young Politician! We would think we will be hearing from you for many more years to come!

  2. Good Morning, Jehanne!

    I already watch (I don’t hear but see you) you out! My puzzle about your comments about Maryland School for the Deaf and Hearing??? It’s so complicated! I will have my Deaf Son to come home from dorm this weekend to watch you and he will probably share with you from his message!

    Thanks for sharing with us from your vlog!


  3. Wow, Jehanne!

    It is really a difficult time for the Deaf Schools all over.

    What solutions do you have in mind, Jehanne?

    They can only think of allowing hearing kids in to keep the school going and alive. Even though it is the most uncomfortable solution.

    I wouldn’t be comfortable with the idea either, because the system isn’t strong enough where there’s respect for the Deaf Education – as far as ASL is concerned.

    Good for you to speak up – I hope your vlog will prompt some ideas to help you out and your school!

  4. Color me impressed with MSD – Frederick! You are already an excellent ambassador for your school, and I hope your school will continue for a long time.

  5. I’m very impressed with your vlogs! You’ll be a great role model for other kids your age! Looking forward to watching more from you!

    DeafRead got a request to add your blog to our list and we’ll do that! It’ll be automatically picked up now.

  6. You made several points why you are not comfortable with the idea of having hearing students enrolled in MSD.

    You are capable of speaking up your views in an eloquent way.

    Bravo, Jehanne!

  7. Hi there, thanks for expressing your concerns, the way I understood was that MSD would only accept children that know sign language, are mostly koda (kids of deaf adults) and are familiar with deaf culture to come to MSD. I know my hearing children do not want to go to MSD either. I’ve talked with other deaf parents with hearing children, they have mixed feelings too. For me personally as a deaf parent, it would be a cool idea because then I can communicate easily with teachers/staff at MSD because at public school, it is harder for deaf parents to communicate, they always have to rely on interpreters to come in for conferences and navigiate around public schools and it can be isolating at times. KODA children may feel a sense of belonging because ASL is used and they can see that their deaf parents are feeling more belonged to MSD, they could participate more in PTA meetings, and other various school activities. So there is the other side of the coin. I don’t know the easy answer to it except maybe give it a trial and see how it goes with few koda children.

  8. I heard you. This does not mean that I can hear but I am talking about understanding where you are about MSD considering admitting hearing children. It is now clear to me that the school enrollment is problematic, and I hope that the Deaf community in your state can get together with MSD and address both enrollment and retention. Jehanne, I admire your ability to deliver your thoughts in exclusive ASL.


  9. Hi everyone, I want to say thanks for seeing my vlog. I have an answer to Michelle. Here it is. MSD hasn’t let hearing kids yet but it is an idea. Smile, Jehanne.

  10. Hey Jehanne,

    I think I have to agree with you, I know that odd feelings you get againts the hearing
    student. I have to admit I have the same feeling as you thefore the MSD’s reason to
    provide the DEAF students only as my opinion. Let’s say there is a million zillion hearing
    school out there and I am very concered that there would be alot of deaf kids gone
    today, year, our life. Good Luck wiith that Jehanne and I had bookmarked you on my


  11. Hi there, yes I am aware that it is still in “talks” about admitting hearing children in MSD at a later date, maybe my answer was not clear, but thanks for reading my comment. The more you talk among the students/parents, the better perspectives you can receive and then hopefully have an influence with MSD administrative people to make a wise and sound decision about if they want to admit hearing children or not. Good luck and it is nice knowing that kids have a voice and that is great!

  12. it is an interesting opinion of yours to share with the public as I understood that the MSD is for the deaf and now many more deaf children are in other schools as mainstreaming – so if some of the hearing children of deaf parents will feel comfortable to go to the MSD as a compromise way – they already knew sign language, deaf culture and deafhood with their deaf or hoh parents – so they may be comfortable with you all deaf or hoh stidents –
    It would be good for some of you to know and learn to get along with the hearing ppl – then when you graduate and move on for jobs, you would know what to do in the hearing world –
    If the hearing people knew what the deaf people need then problems can be solved – but if the MSD can have more deaf or hoh students then build more buildings, dorms, etc as there are more deaf kids out there – it is hard to know what is in the future – so hope things will work out for the best –

  13. Jehanne,

    You mentioned in your reply to Michelle that MSD is “exploring” the idea of enrolling hearing (or KODA) students to bolster the enrollment and that doesn’t sit well with you?

    My curiousity is that have you raised your concerns with the student body, faculty, and administration. What is the general atmopshere at the school regarding the “idea” that MSD is considering? Have you collected enough true facts or just milling rumors around the campus? If that’s true, that would spell a huge radical changes at deaf institutions across the country as they struggle to survive in today’s ever changing deaf population.

    I’m impressed with your assertive vlogs lately, keep it up! We need deaf young people like that for the next generation! πŸ™‚

  14. Hi there,
    Yes I am aware that it is important to you and deaf world.
    I have 3 hearing kids going to public school which is hard for me. I feel out of place there and just sit being alone. Sometimes I wish one of my kid is deaf so I can go deaf and hearing, too. So my kids willl understand better if one of deaf child is in our family. I have them with me all through until they were graduated.
    Then I was free to go and went back to deaf world again. It was so nice to see old friends again. Now I am in deaf world that is wonderful one to use ASL again . I have not see my kids a while until we meet again and they were surprised to see me using ASL more and ask me to go slow down, ha. No way I am going to stay with ASL and let them learn to use ASL. They did picked more and did well.
    My opinion is that it is hard to choose because of most deaf schools try to close and keep fighting to keep school open for deaf. If only way is that we can have hearing so we can have school forever. Hearing have fun to learn sign language, too and good reasons are good for hearing to learn and can be interpreter in their future, too. It is pro and con.l

  15. Hi everyone! I want to add one more readon that i don’t want hearing kids join our school. Hearing kids could cheat at schoolwork, they can whisper to other hearing kids. Deaf teachers can’t catch them because they can’t hear. Thanks!

  16. Jehanne, when I saw your comment about hearing children, it pained me because I am a Deaf mom with two hearing children. I understand your concern and fear but it is not really fair to think this way about hearing children in general. Hearing children are just like deaf kids in many ways (both bad and good).

    Deaf children indeed do cheat, they whisper in small ASL, and get away in doing something mischevious if a teacher turns their back or leave the room. What makes deaf children different from hearing children huh?

    I asked my hearing children if they would like to go to MSD, they said no, they are comfortable at their school. They also said that deaf children tend to sign way too fast, they stay “glued” to each other and don’t mingle around and meet new children. Now I think it is same with hearing children so I don’t know if this is a fair statement or not.

    I think once some hearing children reach to their teens/adulthood, they become more interested in deaf culture/sign language and want to be part of deaf community. We cannot shun them out of the deaf community but if deaf children are going to have this kind of attitude about them, then we cannot blame them for having an attitude toward deaf people not having a welcoming presence or embrace them.

  17. Jehanne,

    I am a deaf mom of CODAs. I want you know that you have a right to feel the way you do about your school.

    I don’t think you mean that you don’t like hearing children. It looks to me like you are just saying that you want your school to be a place where everyone communicates the same and everybody is equal.

    I remember when I was young, I preferred to play with my deaf friends, even though I did like some CODA friends. With my deaf friends, we all understood each other. We had the same experiences. Mostly, my CODA friends were fun to play with alone or with many other deaf friends, but sometimes if there were many CODA children, they would start talking and drop signs. It was hard to understand them. It was not their fault. They were part of a different world.

    LIke Michele, I asked my hearing children how they would feel about going to a deaf school. They said no, they prefer their hearing school and friends, but they do like to play with their deaf friends after school once in a while. I don’t think this means they reject deaf children at all, just like it doesn’t necessarily mean deaf children who want to play with other deaf children are rejecting hearing children. It is natural to want to play with the friends who understand you best and who are most like you.

    I think it is important we parents learn not to take it personally and trust that when our children grow up, they will all appreciate each other in different ways.

    Jehanne, your vlog shows us that you have thought about this issue. Don’t worry if some parents might be upset. I understand you very well. I think you are very brave to be honest. I wish more people will be honest like you!!

  18. Good for you Jehanne! I like your vlog.

    Michelle, I think Jehanne raised an important point. This is a deeper issue than rejecting or shunning hearing children. This is not about whether hearing children cheat more than deaf children. It is about the differences.

    Seriously, how would you handle a classroom if you were a deaf teacher and you had a few hearing students taking advantage and talking in class or during tests? At least if all the students are deaf, everyone is on equal footing here. Does that mean MSD would need to start hiring more hearing teachers to be voice police? If some deaf schools can’t even get all their hearing staff and teachers to sign all the time, how do you expect MSD to be able to get all the hearing students to sign all the time? I have heard about some MSD hearing teachers and staff who do use their voices and not sign right in front of deaf teachers and staff. It is bad enough the deaf students have to see that. It would be a shame if hearing students were at MSD and got to overhear what the hearing teachers were saying. Then they would have access to more information than the deaf students. Would they act like interpreters and share this information with them? Would they withhold the information, giving themselves too much power? What do you think?

  19. Hey Jehanne!

    This is Allison Weiner, a junior at MSD. I want to say that I am proud of you for posting a vlog expressing your opinion, it’s good to know that MSD students know their rights (freedom of expression) and I’m proud of MSD for producing such a great student :). I was wondering if you knew these facts: If MSD was to actually implement this policy of enrolling hearing students, the possible student would have to be fluent in ASL, there would be some kind of a test to test their ASL fluency level (not very different from a hearing test). Also, if or when MSD allows hearing students, enrollment would start with the pre-kindergarten class or below, so that they would, over time, get used to the Deaf community, etc. I honestly doubt that hearing students at MSD would be anyone other than KODAs since that would be convienent for parents and I don’t see why random hearing students would actually come to MSD. Again, it’s good that you expressed your opinion in this intelligent manner πŸ™‚ Keep it up!! Always remember, throughout your vlogging experience, this quote- “I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.” -Voltaire


    p.s. feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this topic (or anything else, for that matter) since i support the idea of enrolling hearing students and i am always open to new opinions and ideas, they will definitely be helpful for me in the future.

  20. I want to answer to Karen’s comment so here it is, I don’t hate hearing kids, I like to play with them too but sometimes I want to be with people who are deaf like me. Smile, Jehanne!

  21. To Deaf Dad, I know that those things can happen, its possible with deaf and hearing children, I was just bothered by both deaf and hearing children’s negative perspective among each other (I’m speaking about koda, not regular hearing kids).

    Perhaps, MSD opening doors to koda children is a path in helping deaf children meet koda kids from all walks of life to see each others perspective in life. I agree that koda kids should start when they are very young so they are accliminated to an environment of signing ASL at all times and getting used to it. However there are times when koda kids need a breather (they want to use their voice to talk) so MSD will need to be more sensitive and work some things out with koda children who may have a desire to join in the hearing world after a few years at MSD and also at same time, make sure deaf students are comfortable.

    I myself don’t know if it will work out or not. But I do really want to see deaf children and koda children to develop positive perspective among each other and to possibly go school together without having fears, doubts or concerns about each other.

    Jehanne, its good that you are bringing it up. You are making everyone think and that’s good. πŸ™‚

  22. Allison,
    I see that you made good point. Maybe it will be ok but I am not very sure about that yet. But I think if MSD work that way, it will have more chance for us to want hearing kids in our school. Thanks!

  23. Also I want to add to Allison that she says KODAS sometimes need to use their voices, I have idea. Maybe they could have time to speak during weekends or something. We could work out that. Thanks!

  24. Jehanne– you have great ideas there. You are right, they should not use their voices at school at all. So, their parents should tell them that and to use their voices during weekends. There are actually some schools (P.S. 47 in NY) that have tried this. Maybe you could talk to someone from that school if you want to see what their experiences were like. If I had that chance, I would definitely talk with someone from that school. πŸ™‚

  25. Hi Jehanne (and Allison re her comments above),

    I have a 12 year old who is a KODA. We live in Massachusetts. My son tells me wants to study sign language to become a ”better” interpreter than what he sees on VRS or in person! In the back of my mind, a deaf school or a charter school where everyone uses sign language would be great for my son to sign more during his most of his waking hours on M-F and fulfill his dream to become a great or better interpreter than what he is used to seeing today.

    Here is someone who already knows what he wants to be when he grow up!

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