Friday, September 23, 2011

Jenks, Union 'kick these families when they're down'

"As the parent of a child with autism, I experience the daily struggle of trying to emotionally and financially provide for my child," Christi Kellogg of Muskogee writes in an excellent letter published today in The Oklahoman.
Therefore, I was shocked to hear the recent news that the Tulsa Union school district and the Jenks school district are suing parents of children with special needs. These parents, who challenged the school district's refusal to comply with House Bill 3393, are now being sued by the school district. This bill provides a scholarship, or voucher system, so that parents may choose to take their child out of a school district that is not providing for their child's needs and place them in a school setting that is willing to provide the specialized education many of these children need.

I can only imagine what these parents are going through! I'm sure they're thinking between work, taking their child to numerous occupational and speech therapy appointments. Gee, I've got to find time to hire an attorney, too. Or they may ask, Do I pay for my child's prescription medications this month or pay legal fees? Leave it to the school districts to kick these families when they're down.

My question to Jenks and Union administrators who are behind this ridiculous lawsuit: How do you sleep at night, knowing the additional emotional and financial burdens you are placing on these already struggling families?

They sleep quite well, these superintendents Kirby Lehman and Cathy Burden, and at 20 grand a month they're doubtless swaddled in satin sheets. As another mom of a special-needs child put it, the bureaucrats just don't get it.

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