Suing school board

Resident calls for resources for students with health issues

The “Parent sues school board ” article in The Morning Star May 27, demands further comment and immediate action concerning this prevalent provincial neglect.

Brandi Lee White, the mother of a special needs student in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District, is suing the school board, the Ministry of Education and individual trustees, both present and past, claiming their decisions caused harm to her daughter’s development.

​Her​ ​daughter​​,​ ​Jenica​​ Henton​​,​ ​a student​ ​at Salmon Arm Secondary, has​​ ​tetralogy ​​of​​ ​​Fallot​​ and​ ​DiGeorges ​​syndrome​ ​that has caused ​​numerous surgeries ​and frequent ​​illnesses​. ​

Henton required​ ​individual plan outlines, ​​special education needs​ i​ncluding ​​speech,​​ language,​ ​and physio​ therapies​ and special support and supervision.

White’s suit alleges required services were denied her daughter or provided at a lower level “causing an ongoing delay in her daughter’s development and progress.” The lawsuit also states the school board “diverted in excess of $10 million of operating funds to a surplus account – (which) led to a reduction in education and support services.”

On March 10, 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In 2015, B.C. led the country in economic growth and is forecast to have the highest growth in 2016.

However, according to Stephen Hume of the Vancouver Sun (March 6/16), “Benefits for B.C.’s disabled are downright miserly.” In 2010 compared to B.C.’s monthly assistance to people with disabilities, our immediate neighbours Alberta provided 75 per cent more than B.C., Yukon 87 per cent more, and the N.W.T. 89 per cent more. B.C.’s disabled consistently lack adequate funding.

Surely the citizens of the North Okanagan, the Shuswap and B.C. can support Brandi Lee White and her daughter Jenica Henton.

Please write a letter today to focus attention on this issue and help numerous other parents with disabled children.

Kevin P. Campbell