OR mother of a special needs students wants inclusion in schools - KPTV - FOX 12

OR mother of a special needs students wants inclusion in schools

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(Courtesy: Joey Razzano) (Courtesy: Joey Razzano)

A Beaumont Middle School parent said her daughter who has special needs was excluded from a group choir performance.

“At the end of the performance all the kids walked off the stage and didn’t give Jade a second thought,” parent Joey Razzano said. “It was clear to me that they didn’t consider Jade part of the choir.”

A photo of Razzano’s daughter during rehearsal minutes before the performance was shared on Facebook. It shows Jade who is in a wheelchair off to the side, while the group is rehearsing.

Razzano adds she and her husband came home with two different programs. The first had Jade’s name off to the side of the page and another with her name on the bottom of the list which was not in alphabetical order.

“Both of them aren’t really inclusive,” said Razzano.

“For any kid whether they have a disability or not, we want them to feel welcome and invited,” Christine Miles a spokesperson for Portland Public Schools said. “If they don’t feel that way we want to sit down with their parents to find out what we can do differently and how we can make it better.”

Razzano said the public school system needs to “show inclusion at the very heart of it.”

After sharing her daughter’s photograph on Facebook, it caught the attention of Senator Sara Gelser.

“No body wants to treat a child that way,” Gelser said in a phone interview. “I don’t think anyone involved in the situation would have negative intentions.”

Gelser adds the state needs to take situations like this seriously and face it head on.

“What happened to Jade is heartbreaking and very frustrating. These are experiences that marginalized students have all across the state,” Gelser said.

Razzano said she is hopeful with the help of Senator Gelser there could be a positive impact.

“We don’t want this to become a huge witch hunt at Beaumont,” Razzano said. “You don’t know what you don’t know and so that’s where this would be a good opportunity to teach people [about] sensitivity.”

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