Sheila Knapp: Disabled students need voice

May 2, 2013 

Voiceless students

Sen. Kay Hagan held a news conference recently at Leesville Road High School to announce her Financial Literacy for Students Act (April 29 news story).

Leesville Road has a graduation rate of 48 percent for students with disabilities. It is one of the lowest in Wake County. It is below the county average of 59 percent and well below the state target of 70 percent.

I wish that Hagan had not endorsed this school. It sends a message that students with disabilities don’t matter. Touting a financial literacy program at a school where vulnerable students can’t earn diplomas is offensive. A 48 percent chance of earning a diploma is unacceptable, but it goes unnoticed because students with disabilities don’t have a voice. Everyone deserves an education and the opportunity to earn a diploma.

Sheila Knapp

Raleigh

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