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franklin county times

School district to train special education teachers to training

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
June 25, 2004
Special Education teachers in the Meridian Public School District next year will be required to undergo training on how to work with students in wheelchairs.
The Meridian School Board asked School Superintendent Sylvia Autry to set up the training course after the parent of a special needs child talked to board members about a problem she had.
Reponza Williams said she believes her son, Roderick, 10, who is in a wheelchair, was neglected while in class at Harris Upper Elementary School in April. Williams said another special needs student pushed Roderick during an outside class activity, causing Roderick's wheelchair to flip.
Roderick received scratches from the accident, but he was not seriously injured.
Williams said Roderick's teachers should not have let a student push her son's wheelchair, so she took her concerns to the school district. She said Roderick has seizures and a tube in his brain and that even a minor fall could be deadly.
Autry said that Williams came to her in May and asked her to reprimand those involved.
Autry said some action has been taken against those involved in the accident. But she refused to say what specific action was done because of the district's policy against publicly discussing personnel matters.
Autry said she is upset that a student was allowed to push Roderick's wheelchair, and Roderick will be moved to a special needs class at Carver Middle School next year.
Williams, though, said moving her child is not enough. She said she wants a formal apology from the school. She also said she's considering filing charges against the school district for child neglect.