Our family would like to fight school district 214 in Illinois for the rights of our daughter, Amanda. She is a brain cancer survivor whose sole goal is to work hard and get into a good college for her needs. She has a 3.1 on a 4.0 scale GPA in all regular classes and could have graduated in 3.5 years had school met her needs. Now she is facing being a "super senior" because her home school failed to meet her needs causing her to have no education for 6 months. Her goal in life is to become a nurse to help other kids that have cancer. She has raised over $11,000 for various cancer organizations(Camp Sunshine , Lurie Children's Hospital, Make A Wish, etc.) by selling candy bars.
Her goal is being jeopardized because the school district that violated her Individual Education Plan or IEP does not wish to remove administrators that have said and written negative things about her nor do they wish to provide us a costly transfer for her and her younger brother. We have appealed, but were denied a transfer. They would rather call me a bully for advocating for her and retaliate because I have filed state(ISBE) and OCR complaints against them. I CAN EVEN SHOW THAT THEY LIED TO THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS! They claim she was never bullied, but I was there with Amanda crying beside me to say she was mocked for needing special ed. The associate principals exact words were,"maybe she should carry her accomodations around with her." Another said that,"She is the ONLY special ed student in AVID and the program is not designed for special ed (students)." Part of this was repeated in an email to another administrator that we pulled as an FOIA document request. No child deserves that!
In August/September she was denied any option to return to school that she could access. The school wanted to send her to Harper College to finish her 2 remaining high school classes. Her medical/educational testing showed that she was below a ninth grade in reading/writing so how was that an option for her?? From Aug-January 2014 I had no issues with these people until they failed to provide the items listed in her individual educational plan or IEP. This is a legal, binding document that schools must follow. In September, ISBE confirmed that they had not followed it. She didn't wish to leave her friends, AVID, and everything she knew , but she had no choice as she told them. She could not return the way things were. The link below has her speech to the school board, that offered her no help even after reading the words of their staff.
She is my 2 million dollar baby and I love her more than words can express. I have watched her go to school when I know she is not 100%. There have been days she has migraine strength headaches, back or leg pain from peripheral neuropathy and she is waiting for her ride to school at 7 am.
I have and will give up everything for her because she is worth it and doesn't deserve the treatment she has had. But I also lost my job of 1.5 years trying to help the school realize that there are problems that they do not wish to acknowledge. Those are now confirmed by the IEE, or independent evaluations she had done and school was required to pay for.Parents should not need to have 10 IEP meeting a year because adequate time is not scheduled. Parents should not be disrespected and banned from school for advocating for our daughter. I have had to rent an appartment out of district so she could get the education she so desperately wants at a cost of $1070 per month not including utilities while my husband and son support our other home 20 minutes away.
The sad part is they are a huge district with millions in revenue and we are a middle-class family of 5 struggling to get by. They just opted out of the new school lunch program at a loss in federal funding of $900,000. I can back up everything I say with written proof.
Will you support this cause? Change.org petition link is below. PLEASE HELP US HELP AMANDA SEE HER DREAM TO GO TO COLLEGE ACHIEVED.
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