Billings Superintendent Takes Wrong Approach in Letter to Penningtons
I can't believe this letter Superintendent Greg Upham sent to Emily Pennington's parents. He took the direct opposite approach than any other educator takes.
Rather than telling the family everything they need to do to facilitate her final year and graduation, he told them all the reasons why the school district should not let her continue her education. What in the world.
I have never once met a teacher that ever discouraged a student and encouraged them to give up. Instead, they took every avenue possible to make it happen, to reach that goal and achieve it.
What kind of person would take that approach?
The school district has finally planned a special school board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lincoln Center to hear public comments. I fear this is just a publicity stunt to calm the public and show them they are "deeply concerned and appreciate their passion for education".
If things don't work out for Emily and other future disabled students, Mark and I announced this morning that we will pay for a scholarship to Central or any other school of her choice to complete her education. We will pay for the cost at West High if that is the deciding factor as mentioned in Upham's letter.
We also announced the creation of the Emily Pennington Memorial scholarship for $1,000 for any other student with Down Syndrome who wants to attend a private school of their choice.
As decent human beings, we must make sure that this never happens in Montana again. Our image has been tarnished, our reputation has suffered irreparable damage.
We have no option but to right the ship...
See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.