Juanita Stamp’s 6-year-old daughter Jessica attends St. Jerome Elementary School in Regina. Jessica suffers from Rett syndrome – a neuro-developmental disorder that limits speech and physical movement – which is why the school board is considering moving her to Jean Vanier, a school geared towards supporting students with special needs.
But Jessica’s parents would rather her stay at St. Jerome with the help of a special needs teacher.
“Something like that would have been perfect for us. And that’s where we thought we would go. Jean Vanier is a segregated school. So she’ll be around all disabled kids, all the time,” said Stamp.
The Catholic School Board says they are committed to finding the best situation for every student.
“Integration is very important. And because it’s so important, we make sure we offer it, and do a good job of offering it. And that’s what happens at Jean Vanier. It is by no means a segregated school,” said Noah Wernikowski, of the Regina Catholic School Division.
Another bone of contention Juanita wrote about on Facebook, was the Regina Public School Divison’s response to her request for Jessica to move schools. She said the Public Board said since Jessica had a placement already, they couldn’t help – but Public Schools told Global News otherwise.
“Regina Public Schools is required by legislation to accept anyone in their schools who lives within the confines of the City of Regina. So regardless of where they went to school in the past, regardless of any other reasons or issues, they’re welcome at Regina Public Schools,” said Terry Lazarou, of the Regina Public School Board.
For Juanita and her husband Justin, the ideal would be having their daughter feel welcome at St. Jerome.
“What we want to happen is for her to be accepted into our school community,” said Juanita.