Parents blast board
Several members of the Youngsville community spoke against the district’s handling of the autistic and emotional support programs located at Youngsville Elementary Middle School during Monday night’s meeting of the school board’s Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee.
Steve Morris said that he is concerned about “what may come of our school during the ’14-’15 school year. The more we hear, the more we’re concerned.”
He said he is afraid people may choose not to move to Youngsville because of the situation in the schools.
Morris said the program’s location at YEMS was “not the right decision to make” and criticized the board for a lack of transparency and the district’s handling of the situation. “This regrouping has not been beneficial to anyone involved.”
Gordon Fitzgerald said, “A lot of the teachers (at YEMS) are threatening to leave. (The) schools in Warren County are bringing in these disruptive kids. It’s just causing a whole lot of problems. People aren’t going to want to come to our town. We shouldn’t have to take on all these kids. How about Warren? Eisenhower?”
“I don’t feel like any students are to blame for behaviors going on,” said Kelly Johnson. “The (school) board, as a group, you made a decision to put all of these students, you have chosen to take the most intensive behaviors and put them in YEMS and YHS.”
“The students have said, ‘Why have they put us all together?’,” she said.
Scott Nelson said that “just shy of 100 parents” have “decided to look elsewhere” for educational options “for us to feel that our students are protected.”
He called on the school board to review the transfer rules and regulations and noted that “equal opportunity has been thrown out the window” in the WCSD.
Dale Johnson asked YEMS Principal Eric Mineweaser, “How many times could you have called the police?” for incidents at the school.
“It depends on the situation, if it is a hitting of staff, approximately high 70s or low 80s,” said Mineweaser.
“Why weren’t they called?” asked Johnson.
“Each situation, (we) try to determine if it is to that level or not,” said Mineweaser, noting that some students with unique needs might not understand the situation should the police be called. “I felt comfortable with the times we called and the times we didn’t,” he said.
Misty Moore asked the board to examine the savings that consolidating the program at YEMS actually returned. “I want to know where the dollars ended on that,” she said.
“Thank you very much for your honesty and concern,” said board member Jack Werner. “As a board, we are concerned for your children. They’re all our children.”