Billings School Board Stands Firm Against Girl with Down Syndrome
What a heartless decision from the Billings School District 2 school board and superintendent. First off, they've been dragging this family along since November of last year. Now, they're telling the family that this issue will NOT be on the school board agenda.
For those who haven't heard the news out of Billings, the parents of a Billings West High cheerleader who has Down Syndrome are speaking out. This, as the school board is refusing to allow their daughter Emily to attend school for her senior year. She also won't be allowed to graduate.
Jana and James Pennington told me that they received an email from the school district on Monday saying that the board is refusing to allow this topic to come up on the agenda at the school board meeting.
Our friends Paul Mushaben and Mark Wilson have both written some great stories about this. Click here for Paul's commentary as he says SD2 should be ashamed. Mark has a great idea for how businesses can show their support for Emily.
James Pennington told me when this whole ordeal started, he figured the school district would "celebrate" the news that Emily could now attend her senior year and graduate. Montana law allows kids with disabilities to attend high school even if they're above the age of 18. And recently, the Montana Legislature provided funding to help make it happen. And yet the school district hides behind their heartless policy.
Jana Pennington: We're not the only parents that have asked for this. There's a lot of kiddos that are going to be in Emily's same situation that are coming up in the system who have reached out to us. So it's not just the issue for us. There's a lot of things that have gone on since COVID as well, kids that are behind. But what what we can't seem to understand is why we keep getting told it's a funding issue when there's funds available.
Here's is the full audio of our chat with Emily's parents Jana and James Pennington.
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