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Fleming Co. moms calling for more inclusivity after they say sons were left out of school activities

Fleming County Schools said the reported incident happened this week, but the superintendent said that an initial review shows there are other instances as well
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:45 PM EDT
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FLEMING COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Two eastern Kentucky mothers said they were troubled and heartbroken to learn their sons were left out of school activities because of their special needs.

Fleming County Schools said the reported incident happened this week, but the superintendent added that an initial review shows there are other instances that need reviewed as well.

The mothers said it’s tough to share this story, but they want to protect other children.

Kristy Layne said her son, Seth, a sixth grader, was left out of watching a parade where graduating seniors visit the elementary schools before graduation, which included his older brother.

Casey Vice said her son, Jonathon, who is also a sixth grader at Flemingsburg Elementary, was left out of a video showing the sixth graders as a baby, and then one in a cap and gown as they graduate middle school.

“He’s happy. He’s outgoing. During the summer we’re everywhere,” Vice said.

“He likes to play on his iPad, he likes to pick with his brother and sister. He’s just a happy kid,” Layne said.

Two innocent and happy boys who aren’t aware of the negativity in the world. But their mothers do, and say their boys have been singled out.

“It’s a graduating video of a baby picture, and then in cap and gown. I didn’t know any of this was taking place. Let alone that he wasn’t put in it,” Vice said.

“We weren’t notified to send a picture or anything. Then later I found out they were left out of a fishing trip, and then today I found out that he was left out of a Legends game,” Layne.

In a statement Friday, district officials said the incidents “go directly against our mission, vision and intensive focus on equitable experiences for all students.” They said a full and thorough top-down review of polices is ongoing.

“I don’t want another repeat of this. Because not only did I have to go through it once, why should I have to go through it twice, when the situation is known. They are part of the school,” Vice said.

Vice and Layne said thankfully, they do not believe their sons know they have been treated differently. They said they hope their stories alert other parents with special needs children to stay involved their children’s school lives.

“Some people see a video as so small, but to me it’s not. That was his last memories of sixth grade, that was my last memories of him being in sixth grade,” Vice said.

“That’s why I said I hope he doesn’t realize it. Because to take that away from him, for what?” Layne said.

Following a comprehensive review, the district said they will develop an action plan to train staff so things like this do not happen again. They added that safeguards to protect students will be implemented immediately.

Fleming County Schools said they are a self-reporting school district for incidents like this and have reported this to the United States Office of Civil Rights and the Kentucky Department of Education.

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