Adding context to KSD lawsuit
Published 7:17 pm Friday, November 1, 2019
The Advocate-Messenger article on Oct. 25, 2019, presentation of the early stages of my lawsuit claims were not accompanied with context to provide a more cohesive and accurate picture of the underlying greater purpose of my lawsuit. My lawyer and I were not interviewed for the article.
What happens at KSD, as an important national, historical institution, reaches beyond our state. Schools for the deaf are closing all over the nation. They must survive as a viable educational option for our children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
The mainstream educational settings are frequently unable to meet the children’s uniquely complex communication and cultural needs. Language and culture are the foundation of literacy providing a gateway for the children to reach their potential and their rights as American citizens.
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Danville is a city with a thriving Deaf community comprised of exceptional role models who are Deaf. The school and Deaf Community are a part of Danville’s fabric.
Along with top leadership ignoring best practices when educating a minority population that it is meant to serve, unintentionally misrepresenting problems at the school put the survival of the institution at risk.
KSD has top notch staff, ASL experts, dedicated parents, local Deaf leaders and retired teachers who could help to solve these challenges if given the opportunity. The school has the tools to be a beacon of Deaf education and improve services to all children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing throughout the state.
Yet, the institution has been at the mercy of incompetent higher level leadership. In the 2018-19 school year, I believe highly-qualified, skilled, respected and experienced staff, who advocated for the children and best practices, were removed or transferred by the principal with the support of the commissioner and KDE for reasons and purposes other than addressing real needs for improvement and the educational and personal well-being or KSD students.
The staff and teachers at KSD are in the trenches serving with endless dedication. They are doing their best at a challenging job that all too often is underappreciated. They bear additional burdens due to misguided higher level leadership. It is my opinion that top administration failed to implement an effective, intensive plan of action to insure highly-qualified staff obtain necessary ASL skills and attract additional highly-qualified, certified staff who are Deaf.