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Inclusive school schedule shuts girl out of Special Olympics

April 19th, 2010

From WSAV TV, Savannah:

A nine-year-old Georgia girl has been closed out of participating in her local Special Olympics because the scheduling of the events clashed with her school schedule. Reagan Argo-Wilbanks, who has Down syndrome, is included in general education classes in the Liberty County School System.

“Because she has classroom subjects with regular students, instead of in all special education, she would miss too much academic instruction to participate,” [the girl's mother] said school officials told her.

Reagan meets Georgia Special Olympics rules, but each county is allowed to run their own games.

“You can’t call it the Special Olympics if you’re adding extra rules to discriminate against kids that would be allowed to participate,” said her mother.

The school district declined to comment.

(Photo from WSAV-TV)

One Response to “Inclusive school schedule shuts girl out of Special Olympics”

  1. Tim Says:

    Am I the only one confused why this schoolboard is basically saying it is ok to miss class if you are in a special education program, but standard academic courses are too important to miss?

    It’s very sad to me to see a child not be able to participate in something though, disabled or not. A child doesn’t understand the “politics” of something like this, all they know is that a grown up said they can’t play, and that shouldn’t happen.

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