Thursday, October 15, 2009

Broken elevator in school keeps student out of classes

14 year old Robert Mota wants to go to class. In fact, he is in the school building. But because he uses a power chair and the school elevator has been broken for three weeks straight, he's unable to get to his three classes on the second floor. As a result, teachers have marked him with unexcused absences and he's received uncharacteristically low grades.

The A and B student talks in a video about his experience, expressing frustration with the delay in repairs to the elevator. School officials are waiting for the lowest bid to repair the elevator.

But before anyone thinks that the money issue is the sole one here, let me point out that there is no mention in the article of any attempt to move Robert's class to the first floor, to use technology (such as a laptop with a webcam) or any other solution to resolve this situation to provide access to his classes. Instead, Robert remains alone in a room downstairs while his classes are held a floor above him.

He says he misses his ninth grade classmates.

Meanwhile school officials have said that "efforts are under way to try and get elevator repairs started by Friday".

How about using some resourcefulness in the meantime?


Diane J Standiford said...

We get no respect. This is outrageous!!

Wheelie Catholic said...

It is.

One of my friend's 9 year old kids, home from school with a cold, just suggested via email that they could tape the classes and Robert could listen to the classes the next day. I'm tired of seeing the "money" excuse used. When no attempts are made, that's not a good faith argument.

FridaWrites said...

There are all kinds of options available--this is ridiculous and violates his right to a free and appropriate public school education. Certainly the teachers could change classrooms for one class period a day--my guess is, like Bartleby, they'd "prefer not to."

Wheelie Catholic said...

I've become more aware of these kinds of issues with my nephew. This is a story that hit the papers- but unfortunately some parents of kids with disabilities often find it a part time to full time job to deal with schools, even in good school districts. And in the not-so-good ones, flagrant things still go on every day.

FridaWrites said...

Yes, my mom had to do it for me too--they wanted to place me in special ed in 6th grade even though I was one of the top 2 in my class. I also had to take a leave from my job when my son was in first grade for the second semester because of the school issues--it was definitely at least a half-time job to help him and work through the school system. Very frustrating when people won't do the right thing.

Matthew said...

That's pretty disgraceful, particularly when they depress someone's grades just because they don't see fit to change a few room bookings to make sure that all the pupils who need the lessons can get to them.

What's the point of an auction just to get a lift fixed, anyway? Surely they should be just making a few phonecalls and getting it fixed as a matter of urgency. But it isn't, really, because they can just change the room bookings.

Before I get onto a "typical teachers" rant, here is a story about a young woman in the UK (deaf and with cerebral palsy) who's just finished her GCSEs and is off to college. Her family had to move a long distance so that she could go to the same local school as her brothers and sisters.

Courageous Grace said...

That's DISD for ya. This goes back to the budget problems they've had for years. The school board is corrupt, the superintendent is a complete idiot, and no one in the ISD can make a competent decision.

For example, last year they laid off 600 teachers because of the budget issues, those teachers then took the available jobs in the surrounding districts (including the one I live in) making it impossible for new teachers like me to find a job.

Every teacher I know (and that's a lot) would NEVER apply to teach in DISD. It's a horrible district to work for. I wonder if it's not so much the boy's teachers (except the one who failed to give him assignments) as it is the administration. More likely than not it has come down from above that the teachers *must* mark his absences unexcused. Unfortunately, there's not much the mother can do except to possibly sue an already broke ISD or get other parents on board to hound the administration, but I doubt it's going to help.

Hi, by the way!

Wheelie Catholic said...

(Hi, Grace!)