NEW CANEY, Texas (CBS Houston) – A Texas school district is banning a girl suffering from cerebral palsy from using a walker, instead wanting her to use a wheelchair at school.
Texas mother Kristi Roberts has been campaigning for her daughter, LaKay, the right to use her walker, despite the New Caney Independent School District board turning down the request.
Not satisfied with the answer, Roberts met with one school official, and recorded their interaction as he continued to deny LaKay, who suffers from cerebral palsy, the right to use the walker, insisting instead that she use a wheelchair.
Roberts documented the entire meeting on tape, then posted it to YouTube.
“Basically, she can’t use the walker because we don’t think it’s safe,” the official can be heard saying. “Didn’t she fall in the parking lot just yesterday?”
The incident he is referring to happened in the school’s parking lot, while Roberts was present.
“How many kids fall down at recess?” Roberts counters. “Do you make them take their shoes off and buy new ones?”
The school district told KRIV-TV that the tape does not give the entire picture of the situation.
“[T]he District does not agree that the recording at issue here is a complete recounting of the entire underlying confidential discussion and is therefore neither representative nor accurate towards explaining the District’s ongoing efforts to serve its students,” the school said in a statement to the station.
Roberts feels however that the school is holding her child back, and not acting in her best interests.
“I am a parent, and you’re an employee, that’s supposed to be an advocate for this child,” she states. “And from day one, you have not.”
The official concludes that the matter should be settled in court before the tape ends.
Roberts said that it took her daughter, who also suffers from epilepsy since birth, a long while to walk. She is calling for the resignation of the school district’s special education director.
“I want Gary Lemley to resign,” Roberts told the station. “I’d like an apology, and I would like her to use her walker again and get things changed in the special education department.”