The Butterfly Cage

Joy, heartache, and corruption: Teaching while Deaf in a California public school

Rachel Zemach

This book is tender, funny, surprising, and disruptive. You'll be a fly on the wall in a Deaf classroom in a public school, watching a Deaf teacher struggle with staff, administration, and aides who sabotage the teachers at every turn. You’ll also see the children struggle with a principal who removes their textbooks, a vindictive, power-hungry speech therapist, and a system that leaves them defenseless against it.

You'll also meet a language-hungry boy who will capture your heart and run away with it and the political, fiercely intelligent elite members of the Deaf community who rally to change legislation after his life takes a shocking turn. Learn from these true stories of individual students and their quirky, fallible teacher, what the deepest feelings and dilemmas of Deaf and hard of hearing people are, and why 90% of our students around the country are being unnecessarily set up for failure.