Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Texas mom plans to sue school district after she says daughter with cerebral palsy is told to ditch her walker‏

No prizes for guessing that the underlying agenda is to get a handicapped kid out of the school. Spasticity is unsightly

The mother of a child with cerebral palsy is preparing to file a lawsuit against a school district after she says a special education director told her that her five-year-old daughter can no longer use her walker at school.

Kristi Roberts, the girl’s mother, reportedly recorded the conversation with the director Gary Lemley and uploaded it to YouTube. She said she did so as a last resort after two years of arguing with the district about her daughter's care.

"Basically she can't use the walker because we don't think it's safe," Lemley is reportedly heard saying on the audio recording.

Lakay Roberts, 5, has been using a walker at Kings Manor Elementary School in Houston for the past two years. She recently fell in the parking lot when the equipment collapsed.

"How many kids fall down at recess? Do you make them take their shoes off and buy new ones?" asked Roberts. "No ma'am. They're not using walkers," Lemley said, according to the report.

The school district, New Caney ISD, issued a statement to MyFoxHouston.com that said its main goal is to protect students. It cited student privacy laws and would not comment further on this particular issue. "While a parent may choose to share information about his or her child, we cannot."

The statement goes on, "It is important to know that the video and audio recording at issue was not sanctioned or authorized by the District to be released for public dissemination. Furthermore, the District does not agree that the recording at issue here is a complete recounting of the entire underlying confidential discussion and is therefore neither representative nor accurate towards explaining the District's ongoing efforts to serve its students."

The recording, meanwhile, has been clicked on more than 10,000 times, and Roberts says support is pouring in online in the form of comments. "The ones I read really touched me, that strangers care about this," she said.

Ana Calvo, president of the Ms. Wheelchair Texas Foundation, was born without arms and legs. She said, "The law states she has the right to go to school in the least restrictive environment, and if it's a walker that's her accommodation to get from point A to point B then that is what she needs.”


Will Your University be Subject to a Conscience Tax?

There’s been quite a bit of talk recently about new federal regulations requiring employer and student health care plans to pay for abortion inducing drugs, as well as contraception and sterilization. Most religious universities – including faith-based schools and para-church organizations – will be required to provide things like abortion-inducing drugs to their employees and students – even if it conflicts with the religious beliefs and teachings of the school. Any school that is open to students of all faiths and doesn’t just teach religious subject matter is governed by this mandate. Those who refuse for religious reasons will be be fined approximately $2,000 per employee and/or student, per year. This is effectively a Conscience Tax.

Obviously, many faith-based schools, food pantries, hospitals, and other community service organizations are threatened by this disregard for religious freedom because they are open to everyone. Some commentators have opined that this isn’t a very big deal, and is just about making sure women have access to contraception. But if the federal government can force religious schools and other faith-based organizations to act in a way that is completely contrary to their religious beliefs, it can punish religious students who act according to our religious convictions by doing such things as refusing to have student fees fund abortions, objecting to sexual immorality in class, or seeking exemptions from course work that requires them to act contrary to their faith.

All students and school administrators need to be very aware of how this new mandate will affect them. You can learn more about it here. And if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us here at ADF by logging on to SpeakUpMovement.org/University, or calling us at 1-800-TellADF.


Australia: Catholic schools to educate more non-Catholics

THE Catholic Church will spend more than $1 billion over the next 20 years buying land and building classrooms across NSW to expand its network of schools.

The Sydney Catholic Education Office intends to offer more places to non-Catholic families who have become increasingly dissatisfied with the performance of public schools.

A budget of $50 million every year for the next 20 years has been allocated to opening new schools and expanding the grounds of established schools across the inner west, south-west and eastern suburbs.

Taxpayers will fund some of the new schools, with all Catholic schools eligible to apply for federal government building grants.

Dr Dan White, executive director for the Sydney archdiocese schools, said more than 2000 prospective students were turned away from schools in 2012 simply because there was no room for them.

Bigger grounds were needed at most schools to accommodate extra classrooms for growing student numbers, Dr White said.

Cardinal George Pell described the proposed expansion of the Catholic education system as a healthy outcome for the Church and said much of the demand came from non-Catholic families.

"It is a healthy outcome for us. The demand for places in Catholic schools is high. They are happy communities, in literacy and numeracy they are almost invariably above the national average," he said. "I think the biggest compliment is the number of non-Catholics who would like their children to attend a Catholic school.

"We hope the Catholic school system will reinforce the faith and good work of the students. It certainly does make them socially aware, keen to contribute to society and strengthen their faith also."

Principals across Sydney Catholic schools have been directed to look for vacant land or houses for sale close to their schools. "Catholic education in Sydney is going through an unprecedented period of growth," Dr White said. "Our enrolments have grown by over 1000 children every year for the past three years.

He said many parents were taking their children out of public schools because they believed Catholic schools provided a better quality education.

"We find parents are looking for a school that has a spiritual base to it and provides a real values-for-life framework for their children," he said.


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