On Friday, October 7, Education Week covered the complaint and concern of South Carolina parents of special needs student and high stakes assessments. Read here.
On Saturday, October 8, parent Gretchen Herrera received notification from the SCVS director that her son was expelled for her failure to give permission to her son to take assessments. She also protested the rules and regulations on the SC State House steps that day.
Yesterday, Mrs. Herrera replied to the charter school director.
My reply to the director's letter about Anthony's expulsion.
I received a letter from you stating that my son is withdrawn from your school effective 10/10 because I refused to let him take the PASS test.
My son is a 12 year old little boy with Aspergers and a brittle diabetic. I presented Cherry Daniels and Donna Strom with a letter from his diabetes team stating my son should NOT take the test. It stated clearly that he would have a dramatic reaction in his health, but still he took the first part.
My son's blood sugar spiked over 200 points in 30 minutes!
I had sent ANOTHER letter in as well to his homeroom teacher stating that not only did his blood sugar go up, but while there was all of this turmoil, after I refused to let him get ill AGAIN by finishing the PASS tests, his overall blood sugar (A1C) was dangerously high! All of the stress he went through over will he or won't he be allowed to come back because he didn't return to a situation that made him physically and dangerously ill caused his A1C to reach 9.0 from a 7.0! That is documented.
Your school ignored the letter from his endocrinology team and subsequently caused him to be in a very harmful situation with his health.
Your letter states that you have to follow the SAME rules and regulations of the brick and mortar schools of this state. I have spoken to the SC DoE and was told my son can go in, sign in and leave. That would fulfill his participation. I have also spoken to my child's special needs director for Palmetto Pediatric and was told children with my son's illness and disabilities have been opted out before.
You had the appropriate documentation. Your school had a letter in hand stating clearly NOT for Anthony to take the PASS test. There was no doubt about what it was saying.
Yet, because he has a disability that exacerbates an already tricky condition, you've removed him from your school.
From where I sit Ms. Reid, your school is valuing it's testing prowess higher than a child's health.
Now surely, that can't be. Can it?
You were correct in your closing line. SCVCS didn't meet my son's needs. I trusted your school would WANT to keep my child safe. I see I was wrong.