News 12 @ 6 o'clock / Friday, Aug. 15, 2014
HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- The first week of school is over in Richmond County, but for some caretakers the problems are just getting started.
One grandmother says her child has special needs, and one school isn't meeting those needs. Carolyn Thomspon can't help but get choked up when she thinks about her little girl, Kasey.
"She has problems walking. She was born with Spina Bifida. But above all that, she's just very sweet," Thompson said.
On the very first day back to school, Thompson knew there were going to be problems. Kasey's teacher is out on medical leave, so a substitute is filling in. When Thompson tried to talk to the teacher about Kaley's needs and accommodations, she did not get the reply she was hoping for.
"She informed me that she wasn't equipped, and I quote those are the words, to handle Special Ed," Thompson said.
Kasey has to wear pull ups because of her condition, and she needs help changing them during the day. All of this is spelled out on her required special needs accommodation plan. Plans Thompson says, the school hasn't followed.
"I feel like Kasey's rights are being violated," she said.
Talithia Newsome is the director of special education for Richmond County. She said this shouldn't be a problem.
"In general, any student who needs that kind of support, I would expect any of our schools would be able to provide," Newsome said. "Anybody who's working in our school is expected to accommodate the students."
But Thompson says those accommodations aren't being met, and she worries it's not only Kaley suffering.
"I'm speaking for my granddaughter. And the ones who can't speak up. For the fact News 12 is here, someone has to speak up," Thompson said.
Thompson is meeting with the school principal on Monday to try to get to the bottom of the problem. The Richmond County School Board tells us any child with a required plan must have their special needs met, no matter which public school they attend.