Parents Object to Personnel Change

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email

Quitman, Miss. A controversy has developed over a situation involving a special-needs child in the Quitman School District.

Danielle Allen says her son was was forced to miss the first day of school because she doesn't believe he'll get the help he needs.

Kendel Allen, nicknamed Superman, was supposed to begin junior high school at Quitman Tuesday. But he wasn't there. Instead his parents protested the school.

Kendel's aide, Lisa McGill, has helped him with his daily activities through school for the past eight years.
She even protects him from choking while he eats.

The Allen family family says he thinks of McGill as a second mother. Now, on his first year of junior high, they say the IEP (Individual Education Programs) Committee has decided he needs a new aide, without providing a reason.

Superman's mother says she's fighting with everything she has to protect her son.

"I am a mother who has fought for my son for 13 years of his life," said Danielle Allen. "And I won't stop fighting. And I will not give up on this because Lisa McGill belongs with my son."

This is also the first year Kendel will have an entirely self-contained schedule, another huge change in an already dramatically different environment. Allen says her son's neurologist says the child does not cope well with change and this could be detrimental to his health.

School superintendent Suzanne Hawley says there are currently no intentions to change what the IEP committee has decided.

"It's the recommendation of the people who work in our special education department, his teachers that he has had and administrators that have worked with him," said
Hawley.

Kendel's mother says she will not bring her son back to the junior high until his needs are, in her opinion, properly met.


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