Alaska Politician Suggests that It is Time to Stop Educating Handicapped Children

Mark Ewing

Mark Ewing, a former city councilman from Wasilla, Alaska, and candidate for the state House recently squared off in a debate with his opponent. In that debate, Ewing made several surprising comments, including “I love coal. I love the smell of burning coal in the morning.”

Of course, coal is one of the most polluting sources of energy around. A single power plant dumps tons of harmful pollutants into the air, inflicting damage on people and nature. Enjoying the smell of burning coal is as wise as inhaling tobacco fumes and bragging about how great it is for one’s health.

Perhaps all that inhaling helps explain Ewing’s next comment. These words cannot go down well with Wasilla’s more famous resident Sarah Palin whose youngest child is handicapped.

“I got to be honest with you, I am not in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act. We are spending millions and millions of dollars educating children that have a hard time making their wheelchair move and, I’m sorry, but you’ve got to say, ‘no’ somewhere. We need to educate our children, but there are certain individuals that are just not going to benefit from an education,” Ewing said.

Ewing did not elaborate if the disabled children should be left at home or abandoned and left to die in the wilderness, as animals must do in nature. Clearly, he has dismissed the notion that civilized societies have a responsibility for all their citizens.

A child unable to move a wheelchair might be so severely handicapped that education is not even a possibility. However, that is not what Ewing is talking about. He is suggesting that it needs to be withheld. Withholding something is only significant when someone is participating in it. If one of these kids can participate in education, then they are gaining something from it.

It seems that Ewing is suggesting that if a handicapped child cannot fully function in society then there is no purpose in pursuing the education. That isn’t the way life is. There are plenty of handicapped children who grow up to pursue productive roles in society.

While he was not handicapped as a child, scientist Stephen Hawking is a perfect example of someone who cannot move his wheelchair but has contributed powerfully towards our understanding of the universe.

Ewing is now trying to convince people that what he really said was that these children “can’t even figure out how to make their wheelchair work.” Somehow, this is supposed to make it sound better from having “a hard time making their wheelchair move.”

Yet Ewing is not backing off his conclusions:

“Actually, you know, that was a response that isn’t politically correct. But I’m going to use a quote from Jack Nicholson and that is, ‘most people can’t handle the truth.’”

Yes, significant resources would be saved by ignoring disadvantaged children. The same argument could be made for halting aid to the poor and unemployed. The elderly and ill could be refused care and treatment as well. After all, their service to society has passed. This seems the philosophical direction that Ewing is going.

Fortunately, most people are not unfeeling or advocates of this neo-social Darwinism. A civilized society is measured by how it treats its weakest and most unfortunate members. Ewing appears to have a problem with that. Hopefully, the voters in his district will have a problem with Ewing.

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59 Responses to Alaska Politician Suggests that It is Time to Stop Educating Handicapped Children

  1. Gary says:

    There’s a video on his website that isn’t even captioned (for persons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing) or audio-described (for persons who are blind), at The problem is that the leadership of today’s GOP – on pretty much every issue – has been taken over by fundamentalist, regressive, selfish men (and a few self-hating women), and they’ve conned the members of their party.


    what the hell is going on ? what have we become.are we all crazy like this man. not educating all people is a disgrace to us all.just because they are handicapped ,doesnt mean that they are not vital to our society. my question is how did this man become a councilman ,and who would vote for him. are all people in alaska like him?

  3. amy says:

    Wow. Sounds like maybe we should stop educating people in Alaska. Even though this fool could move a wheelchair the education he received was not worth paying for. Truth the world takes all kinds enemy this fool.

  4. Katy says:

    Mr. Ewing apparently has never heard of Stephen Hawking.

  5. Lynn Cyr says:

    God forbid that any of Mr. Ewing’s children or grandchildren are ever involved in an accident of any kind. I wonder if he would continue to defend his stance if it were his child or grandchild in that wheelchair that he is referring to.

  6. mary says:

    i am not a christian, but i consider myself to be a follower of Christ. when my time here is over i believe that i will called on to explain my actions good and bad. i believe that i will have little to be ashamed of concerning my treatment of children, all children and the helpless. i can’t imagine this man looking into the eyes of God and explaining his statements and behaviour. he is beneath contempt.

  7. wpcrozier says:

    With that kind of comment, Mr. Ewing would need to stop educationing the wealthy because realistically, they could have their parents support them and would not need to be smart to live on their own. I could go on and on, but I have a responsibility to teach my children, including the one with Down syndrome who is reading, doing math, does her chores and oh, yeah….made 8 baskets in a row tonight. Take that, Mr. Ewing!

  8. lena says:

    hello there mr Ewing
    parent of a disabled child here you could put my son out there and bet you he could out smart you and hes only in grade7 some people like u with there smart ass cracks sould think befor they open there big yaps hope you have heard about karma beacuse you will get your share real soon I have meet and allso have family and friends that are handicap and are real smart trust me on this one they could all out do u smartie pants and yes hope all the voters in ewings district vote him out off the real world he should get a reality check

  9. Vanessa says:

    If he thinks that , there are a lot of non-disabled people who take education for granted and we keep wasting money on them. We give them a chance(s). Disabled people are very deserving of equal education and you know they are more appreciative than most. He obviously never had the joyful opportunity of working with this community and getting to know what kind hearts they all have.

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