HOUSTON, Texas — Many parents are outraged at Houston ISD’s plan to relocate severely disabled students from a shared school to various other campuses.
“I’m coming and hell’s coming with me,” said parent Julie Beeson.
She said she's preparing for battle over the education of her 15-year-old son, Beau.
“Beau was born premature and has cerebral palsy and he is the love of my life," said Beeson. "He’s my only child and I would do anything to take up for him.”
She and others are fired up over Houston ISD’s plan to relocate Beau and dozens of other profoundly disabled students from T.H. Rogers School, which has long housed what’s known as the PSI program, to their zoned campuses.
PSI stands for "preparing students for independence," although most are never expected to be independent given their disabilities.
"They should be building a new school for our kids and giving them everything like it was the Make-A-Wish Foundation," said Beeson. "Not brushing them under the rug.”
In a letter sent to impacted families, the head of special education said the district was “excited” about the opportunity and is working to “ensure a seamless transition.”
That's something parents find hard to believe.
“I hope that HISD will be embarrassed because this is shameful, what they’re doing,” said parent Kelly Millner. "A child's going to get hurt."
Her daughter, Neave, attended T.H. Rogers School until age 22.
She said it’s not only about losing a school with modified classrooms and specialized equipment, it’s about preserving a sense of community.
"My daughter’s aged out of the program but I still know teachers and parents and children and it breaks my heart," said Millner. "And I feel like I have to fight for this like my daughter was still there.”
A number of parents have already sent letters to the superintendent and HISD trustees in hopes of finding a solution on behalf of Beau and others.
"It's despicable," said Beeson.
The district is holding an information session for impacted families on Friday.
KHOU 11 News got this response after requesting more information regarding the plan from HISD:
"HISD is committed to ensuring all students have access to the best environment to ensure an exceptional educational experience. In an effort to ensure the least restrictive environment (LRE) for our forty-nine 1st – 12th grade Preparing Students for Independence (PSI) special education students at the T.H. Rogers School, we will be transitioning these students to their home/neighborhood campuses (with PSI programs) for the 2023-2024 school year. This decision was made after extensive consideration and collaboration with our TEA Special Education Conservators."