Dear editor:

I am writing in regards to the WCSD administration’s decision to send Autistic and Emotional Support students to the Youngsville Area Schools this year. The Times Observer reported on 04/03/2014 that 70 – 80 incidents where administration could have involved the police have occurred at Youngsville Elementary/Middle School this year alone.

That means these incidents occur at least every other day. This is an alarming statistic! It’s difficult to think about what may happen to your child at school and it’s stressful for students attending the school as well. All of these incidents are not attributed to the AS or ES students, regular education students have been involved as well. However, this is a substantial increase over the number of incidents that occurred last year so logically you have to look at the changes that have been made within the school. The transition has affected all students.

Obviously the administration is trying to work within a budget, but if their prime concern is avoiding duplicate services in four attendance areas to save costs, why keep putting money into new buildings in those attendance areas? Don’t get me wrong; while I understand the merits of consolidation, I also see the merits of communities having hometown schools. I lean toward that sentiment.

That seems to be the consensus, (since we keep putting money into new schools, renovations,, etc.) so why are we excluding some children from their home schools? The WCSD Special Education Plan Report for 07/01/13 – 06/30/16 states under inclusion, “To the maximum extent possible the Warren County School District includes students identified with a disability with non-disabled peers. This is evident in all schools as inclusion and co-teaching programs are implemented from Kindergarten through Grade 12.” One parent at the school board meeting held 03/31/14 asked why her child had to leave all of her friends at her home school? I’d also like to know why.

Our schools are a pillar in our communities. Why are we excluding children from their home schools and taking them away from their community? Tweaking this “program” as it is will not address the bigger issue here. Dollar signs have taken first place and education and the needs of the students have taken a distant second. The administration needs to look internally at other areas where the budget could be cut without education taking a hit.

Thank you,

Carrie Hendrickson

Concerned Parent