A Bertie County mother is banned from her child’s school, after she complained the school wasn’t doing enough to educate her special needs daughter.
Tassie Hathaway received a letter from Elaine White, the county’s superintendent, on May 15th informing her of the ban at Bertie High School. In the letter it said, “we believe that your interactions with staff at Bertie High School are disruptive to the educational environment. Therefore, effective immediately you are hereby banned from coming onto the property of Bertie High School without advanced permission from school or district administration.”
Hathaway said her daughter Angel, who’s autistic and blind, is being left without a proper education because there are no teachers trained to deal with blind students. By law, the school must provide accommodations for any special needs child. In Angel’s case, the school was supposed to provide a teacher who is trained to deal with the blind for 90 minutes every week. But Hathaway said that isn’t happening, nor is it enough.
“They had me thinking that the teacher from the blind was coming in twice a week for 90 minutes, Mondays and Fridays,” she said. “Okay, the lady hadn’t been there in four Fridays.”
The school district’s reasoning to ban Hathaway was due to disruptive behavior at the school, which included abusive and harassing language towards the staff, and interrupting the education of others. But Hathaway said that isn’t true. She said any time she came to the school she signed in at the office and waited to be escorted as she was supposed to do.
“What kind of harm is that,” Hathaway said. “What is Bertie County Schools hiding that they don’t want the parents to know? What is going on?”
WNCT reached out to school officials by phone, email and in person, but no one wanted to comment on camera. In a statement, a district spokesperson said, “the actions taken by the school system are intended to allow us to continue to provide the best possible educational services to all of our students in a safe and orderly environment.”
But Hathaway said she believes her special needs daughter is being left behind, and no one at the school cares.
“Yes she’s blind, yes she has a disability. But she also can be taught.”
Hathaway was told that if she continued to come on school property without permission, she could be charged with trespassing.