Family says Tulsa elementary school refuses to acknowldge child's disabilities

TULSA -- A Tulsa family said they pulled their daughter out of a Tulsa Public School after faculty refused to acknowledge her medical disabilities.

You would never know just by looking at 4-year-old Kyra Bayliss that she has several disabilities.

“She has an array of disabilities,” Jazz Bayliss, Kyra’s mother said. “She has sensory processing disorder, developmental coordination disorder with a severe gross motor delay, and hypotonia."

Among others, she also has a vascular disorder, which has resulted in nine surgeries.

“We go for number 10 in December,” Bayliss said.

She said 15 diagnoses, documented by several doctors and organized in a binder, have been handed over to Kyra's school, Lindbergh Elementary.

"We’ve been fighting with the school since before the school year started,” Bayliss said. “Fighting tooth and nail.”

According to Kyra's mother, the school refuses to acknowledge her daughter's special needs. She said she even went to the principal to get the matter resolved.

“She said, ‘Somebody sees these medical records and meets your kid, and they're going to think somebody is nuts,’” Bayliss said.

Bayliss is asking the school to sign a 504 plan, which ensures by law that children with disabilities receive accommodations that will ensure academic success.

“I want it in writing so that it is enforceable,” Bayliss said.

For example, Bayliss recalls an incident last week where Kyra was left on the toilet for 45 minutes alone.

“Because of her physical disability, she cannot physically wipe herself,” Kyra’s mom said.

By law, the school cannot help Kyra either, unless she had a 504 plan that distinguishes an aid can do so.

“If they had not denied us that up until now, then they could have stepped in and helped,” Bayliss alleged.

Tulsa Public schools released a statement on the matter, explaining the process of ID’ing a student who would need special assistance.

“We strive to ensure that every child has the supports and services that he or she needs to be successful," TPS said in the statement. "When a parent expresses concern that a student may need the specialized supports of an individualized education program (IEP), our Exceptional Student Services team works with school staff to make a determination as to what accommodations the child might need. The Child Study Team (typically made up of a counselor, a general education teachers, and a special education representative) would visit the classroom to observe the child to understand whether and how the disability affects learning. Regardless of the level of special need, our priority is for every child to learn in the least restrictive environment possible. If the Child Study Team finds that the child is performing adequately and there is no doctor’s diagnosis demonstrating the need, then the child would not be put on an IEP. We would, however, do a return visit after six weeks to assess progress and if needed, would add any necessary supports at that time.”

Bayliss said she took the issue to Tulsa Public School’s special education director, who she said was very accommodating and helpful on the matter. Bayliss will meet with the school Tuesday  morning to resolve the issue before putting Kyra back in school.

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