Parents Want Changes in Moberly Schools

1 decade 9 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:15:54 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

One of the parents KOMU spoke with two months ago contacted the station saying the school district continues to mishandle students with brain disorders. She says the school is punnishing her child for things he can't help because of his condition.

"It is a violation of civil rights for a child with a disability, if the behavior is associated with their disability, to be witheld from any school functions," explained parent Marty Crutchfield.

And Crutchfield says that's exactly what administrators at Gratz-Brown Elementary have done. Last week she says the vice principal suspended her son, Steven, for the remainder of the school year for a pushing incident. Crutchfield admits her son did something wrong, but says the punishment is too harsh for a kid with a brain disorder.

"They have policies and they have things in place that are hard for kids with disabilities to adhere to," explained Missouri Parents Act Regional Coordinator Betty Castleberry.

And parents say the policies are a district-wide problem.

"It's like they are discriminating against kids with disabilities," said parent Pat Gerhard.

Missouri Parents Act or MPACT is an independent organization that works for students with disabilities. Betty Castleberry works in 19 counties in mid-Missouri, and she says Moberly is not up to par.

"Is the Moberly public school system doing what it needs to do to adequately serve children with brain disorders," Castleberry asked. "I would probably have to say no."

Crutchfield is asking the school to reconsider its decision to end Steven's school year prematurely and she wants all students get a chance for success.

"They need to ensure that these kids are going to be successful in school just like the normal children are," Crutchfield said.

Moberly superintendent Bob Bach says he can't discuss specific students and wouldn't go on camera.But he did say the school district does everything it can to facilitate special needs students.

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