As the parent of

two students with special needs who have been in the Hudson school system since 1999, I take exception with the Feb. 13 letter writer comparing parents of students with special needs to "takers."

My wife and I are our children's sole advocates, and you're damn right we take advantage of every opportunity given to ensure our children become productive citizens. I've worked and paid taxes since I was 16. Furthermore, I served 10 years in the military defending the rights of grumpy old men to spout off in their local newspapers. I have volunteered on Hudson's fire department since 2000. My wife has volunteered countless hours monthly helping, not just our children, but many children in our school system. The letter makes jokes about bad water and a "disadvantaged gene pool," which only shows the writer's ignorance on the subject. My wife and I, along with almost every special needs parent we know, are doing everything in our power to provide our children with the chance of becoming a contributing member of society. I am not going to dispute the numbers referenced. If the writer has a problem with the way our school system spends money, he can take it up with his representatives. Perhaps, instead of attacking the parents and families of special needs children, the writer should do something productive. He and Sen. McCain may both be angry, but, Sen. McCain has class.

Martin J. Boise, Hudson