Precinct 333

Friday, April 01, 2005

Insipid Silliness And Mean-Spiritedness

I just don’t understand how A led to B.

Janeal Lee, 30, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter, was disqualified after she was shown in a picture in a newspaper standing up with her high school math students.

She says she has been made to feel like she's "not disabled enough" to represent disabled people in Wisconsin.

Lee had planned to go to the national pageant with her younger sister, who also has muscular dystrophy and won the competition in Minnesota. Students at Kaukauna High School, where Lee teaches, raised $1,000 for her trip to the national pageant.

But pageant officials are standing by their ruling that in public, the winner must mostly be seen in a wheelchair or a scooter. Otherwise, says an official with Ms. Wheelchair America, you risk offending women who can't stand or walk.

So the crown goes to the runner-up, Michelle Kearney, of Milwaukee, Wis., who will compete in the national pageant in July.

One picture? Tell me how that one picture constitutes a violation of the policy?


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