Concerns at Fox School District

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Separate is not equal.  The practice of separate schedules for students with disabilities, that several schools throughout the nation have been practicing, and which most often shortens the students’ school days, keeps students from fully accessing their education. Even a five minute discrepancy is a violation. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MODESE) has found the Fox C-6 district to be non-compliant. Only four schools were investigated.  For more information, please see the official document Fox C-6 Systemic Concern Decision. Here is the ICAA Response. If you have questions, feel free to contact us, a representative of MODESE or another appropriate party. If you are a parent, advocate, or professional in another district, and see this practice occurring, you  can report it.  ICAA urges the Fox C-6 School District, and any other districts operating these schedules to end the discrimination.

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47 Responses to Concerns at Fox School District

  1. nanobot Kansas says:

    Debby Holt and Rodney Reynolds comments makes me sad too. Why the personal attacks against other members? They are not even embarassed that they do not have of concern for their own children’s rights. They have either been beaten down by a corrupt systems or they are just really ignorant. Thanks for people who do care even when they get attacks from the ignorant and cowardly ones.

  2. Debbie Holt says:

    I find this whole discrimination accusation towards the FOX C-6 School District absurd. I am a parent of a child with Special Needs within this school district. He went to Seckman Elementary for early childhood, Lone Dell Elementary, Seckman Middle School and is now a Freshman at Seckman High School. I have NEVER felt discrimination towards him. I also have 2 older Children who have graduated from Seckman High School in 2003 and 2005. I couldn’t be happier with his school schedule along with the bus schedule for the special needs individuals.

    If I am to understand you and your complaint from the article in the Jefferson County Leader you are insinuating that the Fox School District is not allowing individuals with special needs to attend the 7th hour due to their special needs therefore accusing them of discriminating against these individuals and not allowing them to get the same amount of hours as the main streamed individuals therefore missing out on field trips, assemblies and special events.

    My son with Special needs has NEVER missed out on a field trip, assembly or special event due to his disability. All of the schools have welcomed him as an individual. It has been my experience with him and others that they have been included in everything the school has to offer. It has been my choice to attend or not. In Elementary school he was included in all of the singing programs even giving him parts of his own to do. He is not able to keep up with the other individuals in the mainstream core classes therefore he is in a special education class to learn the core classes. He takes 2 classes outside of his special education class and is welcomed with open arms. He does not feel like he is different which is so important to me as a parent. I strongly feel that is due to all of the people he has been in contact with in the Fox C-6 School District. That is what is important to me, how he feels about himself when he is at school. He just attended the Homecoming Dance and I went with him, mostly because I was afraid of how he might be treated. He was treated just like everyone else. He had kids coming up and talking to him giving him a hug, they were dancing with him, it made me feel GOOD! If the leaders were discriminating against the individuals with special needs you would not have the individuals attending those schools going out of their way to make someone with special needs feel welcome just cuz. It all starts with your leaders!!!!!

    Personally I like the fact that his bus comes earlier in both the morning and afternoon. I have been at all of the schools he has attended during the morning drop off times and the afternoon pickup times. I don’t like being there during this heavily congested period so I am for certain my son with special needs would not handle it well at all. I am so thankful for the special bus service the school district provides for the special needs individuals. It provides them with a SAFE environment to and from school. I went to the Freshman Orientation and stayed there with my son and a friend of his from his class. When it came time to change classes they both wanted to stop and wait for the other individuals to get to their classes so they could avoid the hustle and bustle of the changing of classes. Also depending on when the buses left the school the individuals with special needs would be on the buses for much more time than they are now. They would be having to travel behind the bigger buses making multiple stops and I DO NOT want that for my son at all and some cannot tolerate that much time on the bus. I know he would not like the bus ride if he was spending twice as long on the bus.

    I strongly believe that the individuals with Special Needs are going to school earlier than the others and not attending 7th hour for their own SAFETY NOT because they are being discriminated against due to their disability. Now, if someone wanted an individual with special needs to attend a class in the 7th hour then they should make arrangements to ride the bigger bus or have other travel arrangements made. Plain and Simple!

    Now why don’t you find another cause that would help all of the individuals within a school and most likely help individuals with special needs/autism even more. There is a huge problem with obesity with everyone in the schools. Let’s get Food out of the schools! (aside from the regular breakfast/lunch program) The celebrations with food need to STOP!!! Let the parents make the choices to celebrate with food at home. My son has Prader-Willi Syndrome and extra food and food with empty calories can hurt his health. NOBODY understands this issue. Nobody can understand that someone can not have the feeling of being full and can actually eat themselves to death. This would be so much more worth the tax payers dollars than trying to prove a school district of disability discrimination which doesn’t exist!!

    • ICAA says:

      Thanks for your comment and happy Veterans’ Day.

      The ICAA acknowledges that *the Leader* chose not to publish the ICAA public statement that was sent to them as our response.

      *The Leader* chose not to post a link for readers to find the ICAA official request to MODESE, or a link to MODESE’s final decision.

      The ICAA acknowledges that if citizens have questions regarding the complaint, they are free to request a copy of the complaint.

      The ICAA acknowledges that if citizens have questions about the MODESE final decision, citizens have the right to request a copy of that as well.

      The ICAA acknowledge that if Ms Holt or anyone else disagrees with the MODESE decision (preferably after reading and understanding the complaint, and the decision), Ms. Holt or anyone else may voice their concern with that body.

      The ICAA acknowledges that if Ms. Holt or anyone else have causes they feel warrant priority, such as obesity or food in schools, they have every right to engage in efforts for such issues.

      Part of educating the community includes ensuring parents and individuals with disabilities are informed about their rights, relevant laws and provisions.

      If an individual requires a separate schedule and/or a shortened school day based on his or her disability and needs, the person’s IEP team would need to make that determination with the parents and/or student agreeing to such an accommodation. It would not be appropriate to force such “accommodations” on all people based on their differences.

      The ICAA believe that insinuations that separate school schedules, shortened school days and the like as a systemic practice, are “in the best interest” of people with disabilities is offensive and further shows that the discrimination prevalent in our society towards people with differences in ability is pervasive.

      We are proud of our efforts and our work to ensure all people with all abilities are served throughout our communities and our schools.

    • Debbie Holt says:

      Ya know…most everyone who has a child in the special education program has accepted and welcomed the special schedule and special transportation schedule they get in the consideration towards the safety of their children. If anyone is so concerned with discrimination due to disabilities why don’t they just let them go into a mainstreamed inviornement and let it be. I can not stand it when people fight to mainstream a child who is not equipped mentally to deal with the pressure of not being able to learn at the same ability as the others because they want a so called normal inviornment. The only one who suffers because of it is the child and it isn’t fair. I accepted a long time ago that my child was not going to be in the mainstream inviorment within school. Therfore I have accepted that he needs some special care for his learning and for transportation. I am very glad that Fox School District provides special transportation for my special needs child. I do not want him riding the big (regular) school bus where he would be exposed to all of the bullies that would take advantage of him. There’s bigger issues in the world today than accusing a school district who bends over backwards for special needs individuals. There’s got to be another high horse for you to jump on to.

      I’d really like to have you tell me exactly why you think this school distrct is discriminating against individuals with special needs. I have not read anywhere that fully explains it. It is just something to get the society all up in arms about and it is just not so. They have done nothing but GOOD for the individuals with special needs.

      And for the food in the schools…that is what everyone thinks…why do others have to suffer because of someone else’s condintion or lets say disability. Would you serve peanut butter to someone who is highly alergic…would you put it in front of them…well…NO you wouldn’t…peanut butter has been removed from schools all together…tell me why schools have to celebrate with food. That is discrimination…and believe me there have been people trying to fight this battle for some time now it is a loosing battle because of people like you and your response. School is for learning…PERIOD…you celebrate with joy…and joy does not have to be food…that is why people fall back on food for comfort…we have been taught that from a very early age and all through school. I see no difference in the discrimination you speak of…it is like this…but how can we take little Suzies birthday cupcakes away from her because little Johnny can’t have it….Oh…I know a solution…lets remove little Johnny from the situatiion becuase he is mentally challenged and he doesn’t know any better…well…they do know better.

      Why doesn’t your organization take that one on or maybe it is too much of a challege and the discrimination is so much easier even if it isn’t real. Take on something with a little bit more of a challenge and something that might take a bit more thought and effort.

      PWS is a syndrom/disability and is in the Autisim spectrum.

    • Denai says:

      It is so sad to read your posts. It makes me thankful for my parents though. I am glad my mom and dad didn’t assume my autism meant I needed to be separated from the rest of the world. If you really are a mom to someone with special needs, I am sad because your comments show you have given up on your child and their future. You say you expect every parent to resign themselves to not being on the same schedule as the rest of the school, or to be included in mainstream? Do you think your child will never encounter the mainstream world, Debbie? Why are you so cranky about a charity speaking out for the rights of people with disabilities? Are you angry at other parents who have not given up on their children and fight for their rights? Do you not think these people with differences have rights? Seems you’re more angry at the laws. Laws you clearly don’t understand or you wouldn’t keep harping on special buses and regular buses.
      Debbie, it seems you have plenty of passion about the food and obesity issue, why don’t you use the time and energy from complaining here into starting your own group or something? Most people prefer to attack others while sitting on their own behinds. Are you one of those people Debbie? Also, Debbie, PWS is not part of the AS. PWS may be a co-morbid issue that some on the spectrum also deal with, but it is not an actual part of the AS.

    • Debbie Holt says:

      Denai,
      Thank you for your comments. Many people take words and hear what they want to hear. I have not given up on my child at all and would NEVER do so. My son is mainstreamed into the classes he can do and he feels very much a part of the mainstream community. But he would not be able to read on here nor would he be able to write a response like you have. I am not even sure he would know what a response is. Prader-Willi syndrome has many different levels of mental retardation and he is at about about a 3rd grade level. My comment only meant I have accepted that he does not have the ability at this time to be at a 9th grade level and that he needs help to be able to get to that level and he may never get to that level in his life time but I will never stop trying. Do you know how hard it is to go once a year to your childs IEP and have his lack of ability to be at his appropriate grade level. It is very difficult to be honest. But that doesn’t mean I have given up on him at all because I accept the fact that he is not meantally at his appropriate grade level and may never be. I encourage him daily!!! How dare anyone who says I don’t. I firmly believe that if you push people too hard they shut down and his mind will completely shut down if he gets frustrated with tasks. If he was to be mainstreamed into a 9th grade math class he would have no clue what was going on and would be lost and would just sit there and do nothing which could possibly cause major behavior problems. I myself do not want this to happen at all. I want my son to go to school and like it, enjoy it and want to return. And he does this every day because his teachers and the administration care.

      Denai, I am not cranky about any organization standing up for the rights of anyone. I believe everyone deserves a fair right to anything they are able to do. Discrimination is something I am passionate about. And I am upset by the over use of the word, the law. Are you familiar with this particular school district, Denai? Are you aware of what they do for the Special needs individuals? All I am saying is it is wrong to attack a school district who bends over backwards for the special needs program. I know many families dealing with PWS and what they are given in their schools and it is nothing like the Fox School District. They have to fight for the similest things. I am pleased and very happy with what they do for my child with special needs and doesn’t make me have to fight for things.

      My son is autistic as well, he may have other issues as well but he is autistic. There are many PWS individuals with a double diagnoses of PWS and Autism. Autism has a wide range of symptoms and is not limited to a certain few. PWS is one in 10-12,000 births. There is not many in my area and my son is the first with PWS in the Fox School District. We all have different frustrations with everything in life. And as morbid obesity is not part of the autism diagnoses. There are MANY who believe that nutrition plays a huge part in the management of the symptoms of autism. Many believe that removing wheat, sugars etc from their diet can allow someone with autism to function more effectively in their day to day routine. I have seen Great changes in individuals with autisim who have removed these items from their diets. So removing food from schools is not just about obesity and it would help a great deal of many individuals. And yes it is a passion of mine. But people are addicted to food for comfort. I have had many many tell me that particular issue can’t be done.

      This accusation of Discrimination really got no where as I see it. It was found that Seckman High School was dismissing 5 minutes early, discrimination? I don’t think so! They are also giving all of the individuals with special needs 2 extra days of summer school because of it. My son loves school so he will be pleased as punch that he gets 2 more days during the summer. Now, everyone gets 7 hours of school each day. It was my understanding that this organization wanted them to go to school during the same hours as the mainstreamed individuals. The reason they leave 25 minutes early is for their own safety. I know for a fact that if someone has a temporay problem such as a broken leg they get to leave class early, they get to use the elevator, they get special treatment to avoid the crowds before, during and after school. This is no different than the special needds individuals. Their reasoning behind the early arrival and early dismissal is for their own safety. They get 7 hours of learning time just like anyone else. Now this person with the broken leg needing assitance, they loose time now don’t they.

      All I am saying about it all is there are maany different issues in the world, in the schools than to accuse them of discrimination when they are trying to do nothing but help the ones who need it.

    • michelle says:

      Okay what do you have to say about thim trying to make you put your kids on meds. and showing up at your house. It happin to us and the next year when i tryed to put my kids in a new school thay would not let me. What do you do about some thing like this. its not up to the school to tell you to put your kids on med but thay do. And if you dont do as thay say thay send people out to your home to try to see in and see if thay can call the state on you.

    • darren says:

      sounds serious michelle. i would contact someone right away! schools have no business about medicating kids. they are not qualified. what district is that happening? i’ve heard about those happening alot.

  3. Amanda Auxier says:

    This has gone on in our district since school started this year. My son is being dismissed at 3:15 when school isn’t supposed to let out at till 3:45. I’ve complained but no reseloution. Very much a violation of FAPE. Sad!

    • Missy Carr says:

      amanda you may want to report that to ICAA or DESE. i would contact someone because your child is losing education time .

  4. Dani says:

    Better yet, maybe the principals, teachers, and school workers can make sure the dismissal times and start of school days are not chaotic and go smoothly and safely for all students? Maybe that is asking too much?

  5. State and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require that each public agency provide children with disabilities a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in conformity with their Individualized Education Program (IEP). In addition, school districts are required to implement IEPs as written. A student’s IEP team may determine the student needs a shorter or longer day, but in the absence of that, students with disabilities must receive the same length of school day as non-disabled students. In this case, students who have IEPs that require transportation as a related service at Rockport Heights Elementary and Lone Dell Elementary, did not have a shortened school day, and attended school for the amount of time set forth in their IEP. It could not be determined that students with disabilities at Hodge Elementary had the same length of school day as non-disabled students. However, students with disabilities at Seckman High School, who have IEPs requiring transportation, had a shortened school day of five minutes per day, but the IEP did not provide for a shortened school day. Due to the difference in what the IEP required and what was provided, the Fox C-6 School District is found out of compliance.

  6. There should be accommodations written into the IEP that would help these students navigate the chaos. Shortening their day is not the answer. If groups such as ICAA don’t stand up and fight for our kids they will continue to lose their rights. Soldiers don’t just fight for our freedom of speech they fight for all of our rights. One of our rights is a free and appropriate education. Only 3% of all children with autism will become employed. Those odds are not good enough. Unless we continue to fight for our children’s rights those odds will never change.

  7. Marta says:

    Rodney go read your comments and quit getting so worked up. You complain that ICAA filed complaints about separate schedules and discrepancies in school days. You think it was a waste for them to do so. You said you are fine with it as long as your kid gets the same number of hours in. You also said kids with disabilities like yours need to leave early or come in at different times away from everyone else because of the noise.. So, are you saying separate is equal or aren’t you? What conclusion is an educated person like me supposed to draw here, Rodney? And no my comment would not fit the definition of “libel”. Funny you are complaining about comments but you keep making outrageous ones yourself. You didn’t like ICAA filing requests to have a district investigated but you want to talk about other people’s comments on a website? So…..if it is ok for you to complain everyone needs to deal with it. If an organization wants to advocate for students with disabilities, you get mad? (scratches my head). Good night and good luck, sir!

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      Do you have a child in this district? I bet you don’t. And if you do, I’d love to talk to you. But beyond that, quit calling me a racist and a bigot as your, “Separate but equal” post insinuates. I’ve forgotten more about freedom than you will ever know. And you have no idea who I am except that you don’t agree with me and you wish to tear me down personally.

  8. sna says:

    I hope the ICAA is taking down IP addresses for some of these comments.

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      And your point would be?

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      You can have my IP address.
      It is 11133 Mapaville-Hematite Rd, Festus, MO 63028

      I will be here, with my autistic son who I wish I could teach to play football or baseball. I’ll be here with my wife, who has dedicated her entire life to helping autistic kids. I will be here with my young daughter, who has to bear the burden of caring for her older brother when my wife and I are no longer here.

  9. Marta says:

    Rodney Reynolds declares that ‘Separate is Equal’ for people with disabilities.
    Is separate equal for women too, Rodney? What about racial minorities?

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      You do realize that intentionally mis-quoting someone in print is considered libel, correct? I don’t believe I said anything that resembles your remark. This is actually one of the most stupid statements I’ve ever read, especially considering I have a disabled son.

      I’ve also spent 15 years in the US Army defending the rights of people like Marta to spout their garbage. What a waste of time…

  10. Rodney Reynolds says:

    As a parent of an autistic special needs child who attends Fox school district, I appreciate the fact that the start time is staggered so my child doesn’t have to deal with the often chaotic start and end to a school day with all of the buses and shouting children, etc. I’m a Human Resources professional in private industry. This is normally labeled an accommodation, not systemic discrimination. I do hope that you recognize the enormous waste of resources that accompanied this ridiculously embellished complaint. This whole fiasco has resulted only in Seckman High having to adjust their schedule by 5 whole minutes due to an administrative oversight. This whole clown show has been a waste of taxpayer dollars. Perhaps ICAA and its misguided leaders could strive to offer something productive towards raising autism awareness. Harassing the dedicated staff that cares for autistic and otherwise disabled children at Fox schools is not the answer. Filing baseless complaints alleging Apartheid-level discrimination isn’t either. You have a true opportunity to offer value to the children you claim to represent. Whether you choose to act positively on that opportunity remains to be seen.

    • Winnie says:

      Dear uninformed parent,

      I am sorry you feel that it is a convenient favor to have your child lose out educationally. That does not give you the right to intimate that it is appropriate for all special needs children in the schools. Obviously you are angry and resentful at ICAA. If you like the separate school schedule, put it in your kids’ IEP. That would make it legal at least. Maybe you should learn about ICAA and their work before you lash out like that. It just makes you look like an ignorant bully. Just saying. I support ICAA. Someone needs to be doing something about practical supports and advocacy for autistic people and their families. THANK YOU for all the hope, love and tolerance you are trying to bring to our world.

      “W”

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      Wow. Just the sort of uninformed “opinions”I would expect from this group. My son attends the same 7-hour school day. I’m not angry and resentful at ICAA, I’m just much more educated and reasonable. I’ve also been in the US Army for 15 years. I will always defend your right to present your opinion. That does not absolve you of the responsibility to have some sort of truth to that opinion before you go recklessly accusing people of discrimination. There are no shortened days. Period. We can speak at the school board meeting should you desire to. Perhaps then you could try being part of the solution, not the problem.

    • Marta says:

      Rodney I am a retired educator. I know for a fact that ICAA helps people and educates the community. You need to get a handle on your anger. What do you even know about “this group” to make the assumptions you are making here? ICAA consists of a diverse Board of respectable professionals and leaders and I am happy to support them. They, like me, are dedicated to helping people with special needs. People like my grandchild and my brother. What kind of person lodges complaints like this against a charity? Maybe you’re part of the problem and not the solution. If you don’t like what ICAA does, then support a charity you do like. What do you hope to accomplish by posting here?

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      Hack organization

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      *side note* – still chuckle at being labeled “uninformed parent” while raising a 13-year old autistic son. Further proof as to the irrational vitriol of this hack organization.

    • Leatherneck says:

      What are you complaining about. From the report I should be worried about the busing issue and different scheduled that I didn’t know about before. Thanks to ICAA. Does you kid ride the bus or dos they ride with family on a daily basis (Parent transport).

    • sna says:

      Rodney, if you want your child’s learning time shortened, due to his individual sensory issues, that is YOUR right…put it in the IEP. I’m sure you know that no 2 kids with autism are alike. Accommodations are fine, but when ALL special ed students are FORCED to have a shorter day, this is discrimination! I don’t appreciate your negative comments directed toward ICAA. They are fighting for ALL of our kids’ rights and doing a great job by uncovering these examples of illegal noncompliance of which the school is guilty. Just because you think this doesn’t effect you personally, does not give you the right to be so hateful. I’m glad ICAA is so diligent in their efforts to protect MY child!

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      I would like you to define the “illegal noncompliance” issue beyond the 5-minute issue with Seckman High.

      Please. I want a rational explanation of this beyond the 5-minute error that ICAA somehow totes around like a head on a stake.

      Did you somehow find Dachau on Fox property? There was a 5-minute error in Seckman’s scheduling.

      This whole circus is a pretty good example of everything that is wrong with America today.

      What a horrible waste of resources. And unlike others on this “forum”, I’d be happy to discuss things in person.

    • Mr. Reynolds,

      Your child deserves as much school as any other. As an autistic, I know there are solutions. Eye and ear protection or having staff unlock a back door to provide an entrance away from crowds could solve the problem. Right or wrong, diplomas are tickets to a decent life. I want your son or daughter to achieve gainful employment in adulthood almost as much as you do. Being in class on time every day will improve his or her chances. All children belong in school.

      Best,

      Larkin

    • Rodney Reynolds says:

      I agree Larkin. ICAA has not proven that kids with challenges don’t earn diplomas. My boy wants to work at a certain pizza joint in Festus, and I encourage him to do that. I will be so proud when he gets his diploma and goes to work.

  11. doogy says:

    I want to know when the district is going to give us the compensation for lost education time at those two schools. when will the public be told about it? we are running out of time for my own kid and we had to pay for “after care”. what a insult.

  12. Anon says:

    ‘Oh My’, do you have a point at all or just want to say something?

  13. wt says:

    it has finally been proven they are not compliant. and those of us with kids that already graduate know it has been happening for a while. why does the districts do this?

  14. Oh My! says:

    Oops! I pooped in my hat!

  15. Pingback: Advocacy Alert | International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities

  16. UR in Hick town says:

    What do you expect in a hick district? Honestly. People have been talking about the small town mentality of Fox forever. I doubt it will ever change. I respect your efforts ICAA but it may be a little ambitious even for your passionate advocates.

  17. JJ says:

    millersbear that is the stupidest thing i ever heard

  18. millersbear says:

    people with disabilities might need to get out early from school.

  19. donkeyking says:

    oh and can i share this?

  20. donkeyking says:

    so…..it looks as if MODESE is saying that separate but equal is an acceptable train of thought for students with disabilities in schools? wow. just wow. for instance they know there is discrepancy at the Hodge school but failed to be able to calculate differences in shorter school days or the fact that it is discrimination by the very nature of the practice of altogether different schedules. how embarrassing for missourians everywhere. well, at least fox has finally been officially found to be noncompliant. spread the word. it is a violation of fape for sure.

  21. Marta says:

    I’m a retired teacher and I find this to be absolutely outrageous. If I would have ever seen this happening to students, I would have stuck my neck out and said something. Sorry, but if I see wrong, I will say something about it. My generation was one of character. Not to say that people nowdays have none, but I have always stayed true to what I know is right. I hope to see ICAA sticking on this mission. Kudos ICAA. At least someone is standing up for the kids in school today.

  22. John Langston says:

    The district had many chances to do the right thing. Thank you to ICAA for standing up for children and students with disabilities.

  23. Rach98 says:

    omg! my son was on that schedule. he is not in school anymore. can he still get compensation?

  24. janine w says:

    my school has different schedule for the kids with disabilities. what’s wrong with it? what should i do?

    • Marta says:

      Janine, think about it. Just put yourself in the shoes of these kids. That’s what’s wrong with it. You should probably send an e-mail to them if your son has a different schedule like you say.

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