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Texas School Bans Girl With CP From Using Walker (Video)

Texas School Bans Girl With CP From Using Walker (Video)

A Houston school district, New Caney ISD, has said that 5-year-old LaKay Roberts can no longer use her walker at school. LaKay has cerebral palsy and has been using the walker for 3 years. She attends Kings Manor Elementary School in Houston and, as Ellen Seidman of Love That Max writes, a few weeks ago, LaKay’s mother, Kristi Roberts, was informed that her daughter can no longer bring her walker to school by the district’s special education director, Gary Lemley.

Ellen included some of the exchange between Roberts and Lemley in her post and I’m repeating the excerpt because it’s simply outrageous:

Kristi: “Why can’t she use a walker?”

Lemley: “We don’t feel like it’s safe any longer.” [LaKay had fallen in the parking lot when her walker collapsed, while she was with her mom.]

Kristi: “How many kids fall down at recess? Do you make them take their shoes off and buy new ones?”

Lemley: “No, ma’am.”

Kristi: “OK!”

Lemley: “They’re not using walkers.”

Here’s a video with footage of LaKay using her walker:

Ellen’s son Max also has CP and uses a walker. As another mother of a child with disabilities, I share her disbelief at the special education director saying that LaKay can’t use her walker.

While the school district — and, obviously, LaKay’s parents — have concerns about her safety, the walker is a piece of equipment, a “reasonable accommodation,” that LaKay clearly needs and has a right to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The school district should be working in conjunction with LaKay’s parents, teachers and therapists to figure out how best to accommodate her disabilities and that does not mean taking away her walker. Doing so is like telling a non-verbal child “sorry, you can’t have your augmentative communication device to tell us that you’re thirsty or have to use the bathroom, just deal!” or, indeed, a child who is near-sighted that “sorry, you can’t have those glasses because they might fall off and break and we’re concerned about the safety of students.”

Ellen says that Roberts would like to sue the school district over the ban on LaKay’s walker but does not have sufficient funds to do so.

Please support LaKay and her family and sign the petition to tell the New Caney ISD school district that LaKay has the right to use her walker in the district’s public schools and programs!

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Photo of LaKay Roberts from a video uploaded by Kristi Roberts

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263 comments

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10:41PM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Wish I would have arrived earlier to sign the now closed petition. How did that end up?

6:46AM PDT on May 8, 2013

A WTF moment right here.

4:48AM PDT on May 8, 2013

A WTF moment right here.

4:14AM PDT on May 8, 2013

Ok!! A K-walker is safe!! I've been using one since I was 4... and I'm 29~! I would like to punch that guy in the face... for saying someting like that~! WTF!!! This makes me s0o0o mad! I have Cp and my walker was... well freedom, being free... to be possibility normal, to stand on your two feet and... similarly... .. walk. You able bodied people just don't get it, how about I PUT THAT GUY IN A DAMN WHEELCHAIR, SEE HOW HE LIKES IT~!! sorry everyone~! however I just don't get how people can say someting like that, the hole mind set of it just blows my mind. From : Charles Willton (paralympic athlete: 3-time world record holder)

8:22PM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

I am confused. The only thing any article talks about is that her walker collapsed and the school doesn't want her to use it anymore. If my son's walker collapsed, I wouldn't want him to use it either until I got it fixed or got a new one! (yes, my 3 year old has a walker.) Is that really the case that they did not want her using a faulty walker? Because that makes sense.

2:00PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

RIDICULOUS

8:01PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

what idiots

6:42PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

What a cutie pie. Now back to this bull... . What... where is the A.D.A on this. I would consult an A.D.A. attorney this is ridiculous

6:42PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

What a cutie pie. Now back to this bull... . What... where is the A.D.A on this. I would consult an A.D.A. attorney this is ridiculous

12:42PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

SHAME!

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