LAUSD parents, teachers fight mainstreaming of disabled kids - LA Daily News

LAUSD parents, teachers fight mainstreaming of disabled kids - LA Daily News

LAKE BALBOA - Waving signs and chanting "Our kids, our choice," scores of Los Angeles Unified parents and teachers protested the looming transfer of hundreds of disabled students from special-education centers to traditional schools, as the district complies with laws to integrate students who have physical and developmental challenges.
The protesters oppose the merger of four special-education centers with nearby traditional schools, a move that will affect about 300 disabled youngsters when school starts next month. Opponents of the plan say the district will be segregating rather than integrating their kids by putting them in unsafe situations and setting them up for teasing or bullying. They say they want it to be their choice, not the district's, to transfer their kids to a traditional campus.
"They are celebrated at special-education centers for their abilities, not their inabilities," said Rhonda Berrios of West Hills, whose 19-year-old son, Michael, is profoundly autistic. "They have dances, and basketball and baseball teams and cheerleading squads ... The district wants to throw them into a one-size-fits-all environment, and that would be a travesty if this happens."
Michael is now enrolled at Leichman


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