Friday afternoon, OPRF High School’s new Special Education director, Shalema Francois-Blue, advised parents she was imposing a massive reorganization of the Special Education Department. Ms. Francois-Blue unilaterally decided to eliminate all four program chairs, to be replaced by a new system of her devising.

While this sounds like a dry and uninteresting administrative matter, this move has been a blow to the families in the special-education community. Our program chairs, whose positions were just eliminated, were our lifelines in the sea of red tape that is the life of a special-education parent. Each special-education family has a story about its struggles this year, and how Fawn Joyce, Lauren Achurra, Mary Young or Linsey Kirby did their best to save the day.

The Special Education director has been at OPRF for nine months. Most of the families have never met her in person. She does not know our children. The fact that she would impose such a disruption, with zero input from the families she serves, is remarkably thoughtless.

Many special-education parents will be expressing their outrage at the March 11 special board meeting when this will be submitted for approval. I hope the board will put the brakes on this, and first determine how this will affect the special-education community it serves. 

Flo Schumacher, Vanessa Hooker, Tina Baird, Christina and Johnnie Moore, Jill Shipley-Ricks, Marie Jones, Oscar Medina, Heather Pflederer, Tammy Schulz, Andi Watson, Rick and Katie Renner, Natalie Andrus, Ross Lissuzzo, Sarah Mellman, Mark and Renee Rotatori, Dee Jeffries

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