An update to this story is posted here, in Ms. Tonya Tanner’s own words. Tonya is Rickie Lee Tanner’s wife and the mother of the child at the center of this case.
The International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities (ICAA) publishes special action alerts whenever there is a case of abuse, discrimination, or other issue of note in the autism and disabilities community. We encourage others to post these alerts to our ICAA Action Alerts tab here on the site as an additional resource.
Sadly, today there is a new Action Alert to report and it is close to home. Popular singer, and ICAA friend, Rickie Lee Tanner has shared the following statement with the community today.
There is no hope for the human race when a large group of kids set out to hurt and humiliate another child that is mentally challenged while the peers and adults around them know about it and they choose to stand by and do nothing. My heart and spirit are broken today.
My mentally challenged teenage daughter was nominated for homecoming court as a joke by her peers. The kids found out that her only friend is her pet duck so they thought it would be funny to throw duck eggs at her in the parade and make quacking noises at her at the ceremony. Even the students and adults that didn’t participate knew this was happening and never said a word. If you think that homecoming should be canceled at this school this year please send an email to the principal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: (636) 271-1414
Rickie Lee Tanner, proud dad, advocate, and rising star in the music industry, has been a good friend to the ICAA and our efforts over the years. You can learn more about Rickie Lee Tanner at his Facebook page, his website, and by listening to his ICAA Radio appearance. Rickie Lee Tanner was one of our special guests at the first ICAA Evening Out Rickie Lee and his family have generously volunteered time and talents over several years to autism and special needs efforts.
We hope that with your help, we can send a message that abuse, and discrimination against any child, or anyone else based on their differences, is unacceptable. Let’s send the message that “we’re not going to take it anymore.”
We stand with the Tanners as they face down this abuse.
The school district is Meramec Valley R-3 in Missouri. The Principal is Mr. Tom Sauvage.
The School Board members are Mr. Tim Richardson, Mr. Mike Wells, Mr. Randy George, Ms. Doreen Hendrix, Ms. Joel Cracchiolo, Ms. Janet Hubbard, and Ms. Vicky Walz. The Superintendent of Schools is Mr. Randy George and his information is:
We encourage all parents, advocates and all ICAA members to engage in productive dialogue when addressing concerns.