Isabella Lounder, Student With Dwarfism, Afraid To Go Back To School, Says Officials Neglected Her Last Year
Isabella Lounder, a 7-year-old student with special needs, is afraid to return for her first day of school.
Mother Nicole Lounder tells KHOU that officials at Armstrong Elementary in Fort Bend, Texas, failed last year to accommodate and assist her daughter, who has dwarfism and needs a stool to go to the bathroom.
But Lounder says Isabella was ignored by school officials, wetting her pants numerous times after failed attempts to use toilets that were out of her reach. Students would also pick her up, hurting her arms, and she was once locked out of the school, Isabella told the station.
“It’s not right,” Nicole Lounder told KHOU. “She shouldn’t have to deal with that on a daily basis — just using basic functions.”
District officials say they are working to address Isabella’s needs for the coming school year.
The allegations against Armstrong Elementary come after numerous accusations in Texas and across the nation that educators have neglected students with special needs. In Texas’ New Caney Independent School District, mother Lakay Roberts is upset that her daughter’s special education director said the 5-year-old could no longer use her walker at school.
The student has cerebral palsy and needs the walker to move around — and has used the device at the school for the last two years — but the school decided it was unsafe after Lakay fell in the parking lot because her walker collapsed.
Most recently in Florida, Osceola County teacher Pranee Andrus was accused of threatening to cut off students’ tongues and dragging Phoenix Hanson, a 5-year-old boy with autism, across the floor.
And at Webster Elementary School in Michigan, special education teacher Sharon Turbiak has been dismissed for allegedly “slapping, grabbing and force feeding special-needs preschoolers in her classroom, among other unprofessional classroom management practices.”
Turbiak has denied the allegations and is appealing the decision.