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  1. #1
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    TX - No acccess for young wheelchair user's graduation, plus they forgot her

    A fifth grader who uses a wheelchair knew she wouldn't be able to get on stage for her graduation because she could already see at the ceremony at her school, Link Elementary in Houston, they hadn't made access for her.

    She didn't expect that they would forget her altogether, not even calling out her name while she sat there in her wheelchair watching her friends go up on stage one-by-one. Trinecia Blacklock was upset, as you can see from the heartbreaking photo at the link. (sorry, I can't post it right now).

    Her mom's just mad. The school's said it is 'reviewing graduation procedures' - which is a grudging apology for breaking a young girl's heart if I ever heard one, in my opinion.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-...ation-houston/
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


    Flyers/FB/Case Overview&Media Links
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  2. #2
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    That is disgusting. How can an elementary school not have ramps for chairs? And how could they dare forget that poor girl? That is revolting and the girl's teacher and principal should be fired. imo.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  3. #3
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    Oh, so sad! People make mistakes, but how on earth could they have not made arrangements ahead of the ceremony and worse -- forgotten her?? That was an important moment for her. Hard to figure out a way to make that moment up to her now, but sure wish the staff would have done something on the spot. Seeing that picture, I just want to give her a hug!!

    So feel for the parents too~being good parents, they found a way to celebrate afterward. Still, it's really hard to accept it took her tears for awareness that the ball was dropped. Come on now!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by katydid23 View Post
    That is disgusting. How can an elementary school not have ramps for chairs? And how could they dare forget that poor girl? That is revolting and the girl's teacher and principal should be fired. imo.
    I share your outrage, but accidents do happen and the child will have several graduations ahead of her. An apology is only the first step; some sort of special ceremony for the child and her family should be held. This won't be a perfect solution, but I think it makes more sense than decimating the staff.

    (Personal note: after being told by a dean at the college I attended that I was taking too many courses and wouldn't succeed, I resolved to show him and graduate Phi Beta Kappa! I worked for years and achieved the necessary GPA. But graduation morning came and went with no invitation to join the academic fraternity, which should have meant that I had been blackballed by a member of the faculty. (Your transcript was passed among the faculty in those days: any one had the right to "black ball" you for bad character or the like.) Since I had been invited to serve as a student marshal during the main grad ceremony, I had to endure an entire day of questions as to "Why weren't you at the Phi Betta Kappa ceremony?" "I wasn't invited." "Why not? What did you do?" "I have no idea!"

    Needless to say, it was a miserable day, but relatives had come thousands of miles for it, so I had to suck it up and carry on. And I was in my early 20s--not 5th grade--so it was fair to expect me to behave. (Actually, it sounds like the fifth grader behaved better than I; my thin smile barely covered my pout. And I doubt i would be sharing this if a little of the disappointment hadn't stayed with me. So I am VERY sympathetic to and impressed with the 5th grader!)

    Epilogue: three months later I got a very sheepish phone call from the Dean of the College. It appeared there had been a clerical error and my name and transcript had been left off the list of candidates. Since Phi Betta Kappa is a private organization, the Dean didn't even know if anything could be done to fix the omission. (And I really respected him for calling first and worrying about the consequences later. As it turned out, I had not only made PBK, I was the valedictorian of my class. PBK *and* the Alumni Association decided NOT to take the top scholar award away from the #2 student (much to my relief--she was blameless and why should she be disappointed?) and instead presented me with a duplicate award at special receptions coinciding with their quarterly meetings. They also instituted measures, duplicating efforts so the same mistake can't happen again.

    Not quite the same thing, but I recognized that everyone involved was doing what they had the power to do. And as for the Registrar who made the initial error, she had done me favors several times during my years at the college. Why would I want her (or anybody) fired?)
    Last edited by Nova; 06-10-2015 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you , Nova, for talking me off the ledge.

    Perhaps I was a bit too over the top to demand the firings. But it really makes me angry because I know how tough it is for a child in a wheelchair. They feel left out of so many things, so often. But to be left out by the teachers and administration, it is just too much. And it is hard for me to accept that her teacher did not think about it. Couldn't they have called her name and had someone walk the certificate to her, with a round of applause? My daughter had a classmate who was blind, and he was escorted to the stage by another classmate. It would have been too dangerous for him to walk across the risers by himself, but the teacher made a plan and allowed him to participate. ugh, it just makes me sad and angry, that the adults did not bother to think it through.

    PS, congratulations on being so successful in school. It does not surprise me one bit, however.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  6. #6
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    I am LD, although also in the Gifted program, and was often not included in many school ceremonies and programs because back in the day, we weirdos were not really "part" of the school.

    It is what it is. I was brokenhearted many a time but you get over it.

    Good news is, we weirdos scored the top ten percent of the whole class on the SATs.

    Always a silver lining.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllieBee View Post
    I am LD, although also in the Gifted program, and was often not included in many school ceremonies and programs because back in the day, we weirdos were not really "part" of the school.

    It is what it is. I was brokenhearted many a time but you get over it.

    Good news is, we weirdos scored the top ten percent of the whole class on the SATs.

    Always a silver lining.
    My kids were in the gifted program too. But it is kind of hard to compare the way they are sometimes 'left out' with the way a disabled child is. >JMO My opinion only
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by katydid23 View Post
    Thank you , Nova, for talking me off the ledge.

    Perhaps I was a bit too over the top to demand the firings. But it really makes me angry because I know how tough it is for a child in a wheelchair. They feel left out of so many things, so often. But to be left out by the teachers and administration, it is just too much. And it is hard for me to accept that her teacher did not think about it. Couldn't they have called her name and had someone walk the certificate to her, with a round of applause? My daughter had a classmate who was blind, and he was escorted to the stage by another classmate. It would have been too dangerous for him to walk across the risers by himself, but the teacher made a plan and allowed him to participate. ugh, it just makes me sad and angry, that the adults did not bother to think it through.

    PS, congratulations on being so successful in school. It does not surprise me one bit, however.
    Even more so, I would think a 5th grade teacher would recognize that a child in her class had special needs and meeting those needs would be forefront in her brain. Or his brain: I'm not assuming.

    Don't fifth graders have one, or at the most, two teachers? It's not like a college where professors have limited contact with students. I'm with you in that I don't understand how this happened...

    I do know graduations are chaotic. There's a lot of record checking at the last minute to determine who is eligible and who is not. My husband worked at Kaplan College (a trade school like DeVry) and graduation was a zoo every term.

    P.S. Thanks. I'm good at school because the requirements are clear: achieve this; know that. It's real life that baffles me much of the time: do this, but when you finish, we'll tell you you should have been doing something else instead. LOL.

  9. #9
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    Having worked in schools with special needs students of all types, both self-contained and mainstreamed, I simply don't understand how this could have happened. She had to have been on a specific teacher's roll and that teacher would be responsible for her and for making arrangements that her needs were met during graduation. I can't fathom how this happened!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by katydid23 View Post
    My kids were in the gifted program too. But it is kind of hard to compare the way they are sometimes 'left out' with the way a disabled child is. >JMO My opinion only
    Why are gifted children left out? I went to an experimental middle and high school that allowed students to progress at their own rate. (They also maintained a careful 35% gifted, 50% average, 15% below average student body for research purposes.) The gifted students weren't omitted from any school-wide or class-wide activity. They might be taking trigonometry while most of their class was taking algebra, but they weren't excluded from the prom!

    Color me confused!

    (P.S. Since I used myself as an example earlier, I should confess that I didn't graduate in the top 10% of my high school. There's something to be said for personal motivation and good, old-fashioned hard work!)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LonghornSpeakEasy View Post
    Having worked in schools with special needs students of all types, both self-contained and mainstreamed, I simply don't understand how this could have happened. She had to have been on a specific teacher's roll and that teacher would be responsible for her and for making arrangements that her needs were met during graduation. I can't fathom how this happened!
    EXACTLY. And there were rehearsals as well. I still remember the long boring rehearsals for elementary and middle school graduation ceremonies. What did she do during the rehearsals?
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  12. #12
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    As I read other articles I've had a horrible thought. What if her name was left off the original list of graduates that was read because they knew they had no way for her to cross the stage? That is so terrible I didn't even think of it at first. I wanted it to be an honest mistake, but now I'm not so sure. Off to see if I can find any more information.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Why are gifted children left out? I went to an experimental middle and high school that allowed students to progress at their own rate. (They also maintained a careful 35% gifted, 50% average, 15% below average student body for research purposes.) The gifted students weren't omitted from any school-wide or class-wide activity. They might be taking trigonometry while most of their class was taking algebra, but they weren't excluded from the prom!

    Color me confused!
    The only 'controversy' that I remember from my kids gifted programs was that they had to sometimes 'miss' other things to fully partake in the gifted program. So certain times were set aside for them during the school day, and then the other kids had to do something else then, which was often more fun than what they were doing. LOL Also, they had after school extracurricular things set up for them if they wanted to participate in them, but that cut into sports or music programs their friends did. So they sometimes felt 'left out' in that way.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  14. #14
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    Ah, yes, Katy, I remember. My school staggered middle and high school days by an hour, but to participate in the gifted program (and performing arts) I had to go in with the early shift and come home with the late shift. Add an hour-long bus ride each way and I was putting in 10-hours days at age 12. But I have to admit I was just grateful for the opportunity.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by katydid23 View Post
    My kids were in the gifted program too. But it is kind of hard to compare the way they are sometimes 'left out' with the way a disabled child is. >JMO My opinion only

    Really? I think missing out on awards ceremonies, graduations, athletic events and pep rallies is kind of crappy.

    But I guess what do I know? I only experienced it. You probably know better. Thanks for setting me straight.

    Also, I am learning disabled as is my child. But we were both labeled as "gifted" in addition to "learning disabled".

    Still, being LD is a DISABILITY. So, yeah, we are both disabled and were disabled children. It is beneficial to have some education before judging and assuming.

    ETA: JMO, MOO, IMHO

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