Submitted: It should be a given:
…that one can choose where they’d like to live in this free country.
…that their child will receive a proper education no matter their zip code.
…that a child’s specific educational needs will be met in a manner that keeps the child’s best interests in mind.
Sadly, that is not always the case.
When we lived in Lakewood, we were fortunate enough to have a school that met the unique, specific needs of our child with special needs in an environment that suited her educational, social, and emotional needs.
…And then, we moved to Toms River. And the Board of Education tried to place our child. But they refused to consider the specific needs of our child, and insisted on placing her in a school in the Toms River district that ran a program for children with special needs.
The only problem?
The program catered to children with very different conditions and limitations, and our child’s educational and social needs could not be met there at all. Even worse was the fact that the kosher dietary needs couldn’t be accommodated either; with common meal prep areas and many food incentives, there was absolutely no way to ensure that our child would not eat non-kosher food, chas v’shalom.
We’ve been in court battling for the proper placement for our child for two long years now. The Toms River school district has tried to allay our concerns with insincere platitudes and empty promises – and we still don’t have a final decision. Our legal bills are mounting, and the burden has become a heavy one to bear.
We’re not just fighting for our child. We’re fighting for every single child in the greater Lakewood area who is denied services by a school district that won’t take their specific educational needs into consideration when considering a school placement. We’re fighting to give every child the best possible chance of a bright future, no matter their limitations.
We’re asking you to help us fund our fight so that we can ensure that every child gets the educational placement they need – and are legally entitled to.
*This campaign has been verified and endorsed by Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen