Yesterday, at the Delaware Department of Education, a public hearing was held for Academy of Dover, a charter school in Dover now under formal review. The only members of the public to show up were a Miss Sabine Neal and myself. Representing the school were Principal Cheri Marshall, Board member Nancy Wagner, and a member of the administrative staff. The purpose of this public hearing was for any member of the public to give comment about Academy of Dover. Neal gave public comment, and what she said is disturbing, but necessary for parents and members of the community to know. Miss Neal gave me permission to tell this story, and it is very similar to what so many parents in Delaware have gone through at the hands of our schools.
Hi, my name is Sabine Neal. I’m a parent at Academy of Dover. My two children, two of my children go there. I’m here today, sorry I’m kind of nervous. I’m here today to stand up for my son. He was the child that was abused at the Academy of Dover. He is a six-year old kindergarten special needs student who I asked for an evaluation for in August from the school. I did not receive any evaluations until November, and I was not notified he was going to be evaluated. I found out because he came home nervous. I submitted an Autism diagnosis, I submitted an ADHD diagnosis. I was told they could not do anything with the ADHD diagnosis until he had been in the school six months. The Autism diagnosis, I was told since he was only two and a half, it was too old and I needed a new one. They knew he had issues, I asked for help, and problems escalated throughout the year. He’s autistic, he doesn’t deal well with change. Issues occurred and arose throughout the year. He’s been suspended multiple times, but he’s not a bad child. He is six. I tried everything with the school. I set up to get him reevaluated. Getting into a neurologist takes a lot of time. I went to a neurologist, my insurance dropped that neurologist, so I had to go to Delaware Autism Program as the school suggested. I got him re-diagnosed again, again, he’s not eligible. I never had a meeting, they never said anything. I was just told by the Behavior Interventionist he is not eligible. Continue reading