Boy With Down Syndrome Is Heartbroken He Can't Go to School

down syndrome attend midle schoolAs kids across the country return to school, one kid in Westhampton Beach, New York, is being barred from class: Aiden Killoran, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome who was told he can't attend middle school because their facilities aren't equipped to accommodate his special needs. 

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Aiden had graduated from elementary school last June, and his parents had assumed he'd move on with his friends and siblings to Westhampton Beach Middle School. But the school claimed they lacked the resources to keep him mainstreamed with the other students.

"They have a special ed program, but they only take high-functioning kids," explained the Killorans' family attorney Pamela Tucker. "They only want kids who are able to deal with core curriculum and take Regents diplomas."

Instead, Aiden would be bused to a neighboring district. But the Killoran family feels this is a violation of their son's civil rights, and are currently in the courts hashing this out. A ruling is expected later this week.

In the meantime, friends and family are hoping it will all work out by the first day of school so Aiden won't miss out on the big day.

"He's like the king of the school -- everybody knows him," said Aiden's sister, Shannon Killoran.

I think it's easy for a school to say "we aren't equipped to teach your child, go somewhere else where you'll be better served," but I can see why banning a Down syndrome kid from his own school can be called disability discrimination. If I were this boy's parent, I'd fight to keep him where all his friends are too!

I also think the school should welcome this kid not only for his sake, but because it sends a really damaging message to the rest of school. Basically it says, "In our school there's no room for kids who can't keep up with the program." Honestly, is that what we want kids learning at school?

Learn more about this story in the video below.

 

Image via CBS News

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