Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Duncanville ISD shows no respect for US Military Families

Desi Bailey had a problem. Her husband, a US Soldier based in San Diego was being transferred to DeSoto Texas. This is of course not in the least an extraordinary turn of events for military families. It happens quite literally every day of the week all across our nation and the world. That was not the problem, it is in fact expected when your spouse is serving our country, the problem was one of timing. School was going to be starting soon and Mrs. Bailey had to scramble to get her six year old daughter registered in her new school before school started. She and her husband looked all around the area and settled on Duncanville as where they would move to based strongly on the quality of the schools for their daughter who is developmentally delayed. After making arrangements to move to Duncanville and selecting a home to live in, Mrs. Bailey contacted the Duncanville ISD to register her daughter for school. She was informed that it was "policy" that all transfer students must be enrolled 'in person", and that it could not be done over the phone, email, or via fax. This is highly unorthodox protocol for military families to have to follow. In San Diego, it is common to find organizations willing to work with military families to deal with the sorts of monkey wrenches that military life throws at families that are sacrificing for their country. But, to ensure that her daughter started school on time, the family expedited their move, with transfer documents in hand, to enroll her in Smith Elementary in person as the school district unreasonably required on the first day of classes. Shortly thereafter they are notified that their six year old daughter was being transferred to a different school because of space constraints and would instead be bused to Acton Elementary. Apparently the school has a first come, first served policy when it comes to dealing with overcrowding. The last children enrolled are the first to be transferred. Since the Baileys were not allowed to enroll their child until they were able to arrive in person, their daughter had to endure TWO school changes within weeks. This is hard enough on older kids, this can be even harder on a six year old. Duncanville ISD claims they have been open and communicative with the family throughout this mess but the family tells a different story. They say that the district has repeatedly failed to return calls and refused to disclose the policy manual in which the "in person" policy is written.

The following is a response to an email from Tony Smith from Tom Kennedy with DISD:

Subject: RE: Angel Morris' editorial in this weeks Today Newspaper is an outrage!
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 22:42:52 -0500
From: "Kennedy, Tom" <>
To: "The_Texas_Patriot" <>

Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for your recent letter to the DISD Board of Trustees. Unfortunately the school district has very strict rules in regard to student enrollment. These rules were in part established by an outcry by local school patrons about the number of "illegal" students that were enrolling in our schools. It is unfortunate that this student had to follow the same rules as anyone else but if we didn't enforce them equally and fairly to all who register we would have other problems. Unfortunately we are not allowed to pick and choose who has to follow the rules. I'm sure as a former military person you understand the need to have rules that govern all people equally.
Thanks again for your letter. We appreciate your concern for our school district.
Tom Kennedy
(emphasis mine)
I would suggest that those rules are in need of review. Illegal students are not going to have military transfer orders to show, nor will they have transcripts from prior schools if they have just arrived in-country. But even if they did, Federal Law requires them to be enrolled in school regardless of their immigration status. Therefore, the logic being applied seems specious at best. This would appear to be an unreasonable policy calculated to treat military families who do not have the luxury of choosing when to move, as second class citizens. Illegal immigrants are being treated better, and that my friends is a travesty.


Blogger The Texas Patriot said...

Awesome my friend! I couldn't have said it better in a hundred years. You are a great patriot and I am proud to call you my friend!

October 03, 2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Open Records said...

What a wonderful ISD to ask some questions of. If they are that screwed up you can bet that they will be just as about messed up in all other areas too....

October 03, 2007 10:35 AM  
Blogger The Texas Patriot said...

This from the Duncanville School Board President: wrote:

Dear Mr. Tony Smith,

Thank you for your e-mail. I assure you that the military family was treated fairly by the Duncanville Independent School District. Our district maintains their policy of caring about our students' welfare, safety and education, equally to all individuals.

Thank you,
Dorothy Wolverton
President, DISD Board of Trustees

October 03, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Define "fair".

October 03, 2007 1:48 PM  

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