My friend Shoo's mom worked at a State Mental hospital. This was an mysterious set of buildings with a high fence and a large greenbelt (and golf course) between the fence and the campus. I went there once to help Shoo with a boy scout project and I recall being very ill at ease with the people there. I have some guilt around my feelings towards them, in retrospect, at the same time it was my first encounter with the 'mentally challanged' and I really did not have any idea what to expect.
I did learn that you needed to remove the cupcake papers before passing out the cupcakes and you can expect to get hugged.
I wonder if there was some social paradigm that certain people needed to be isolated or removed from view or if that concept came after the idea of having a ' safe place' for 'those' people.
Tina's works in a classroom with challanged kids and they have them participate in the various classrooms as much as they can. So you have a school full of kids that are accepting of certain truths of life. Seperation and isolation leads to lack of tolerance, and is caused by lack of understanding.