I remember observing my son Quetza when he was in Kindergarten in a class with 20 students. Doctors had diagnosed Quetza with ADHD and impulsiveness, and the district recommended he attend an immersion school with special-ed and non special-ed students.  The class had the routine to begin with a 30-minute lecture where children were required to sit quietly and still. Quetza lasted about a minute or two in that position and then would flee. In the following days, I will find Quetza alone in the school parking lot, in the playground, or sometimes I would not find him anywhere. He began to get extremely aggressive and did not want to go to school. For the first time, I saw the pipeline from school to prison reflected in my son and I felt hopeless. I saw a system that was trying to change Quetza to fit an education environment structured for non special-ed children. It was causing him depression, bursts of violence, and a loss of interest in school.

Quetza is an intelligent child that needs to learn in a different form, with movement and somatic.  As your School Board Director, I want to build a school that celebrates every student’s learning abilities and has the sensitive curriculum for them to succeed, excel, and triumph. The global pandemic affected families in all kinds of ways, and for parents with special needs students to have gone without sufficient laptops, curriculum, and additional resources is unacceptable. We must do better, and we will do better.