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Mother concerned after learning special needs son will move schools

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

A Moncks Corner mother is concerned after learning the students in her child’s special needs class may all be moving schools.

Karen Crawford said she got a call Tuesday afternoon saying her third grade special needs son would be moving schools within the Berkeley County School District, from Berkeley Intermediate to Whitesville Elementary.

Officials with the Berkeley County School District said all decisions are made with the best interests of the students as the priority.

Crawford said her son, Garrison, has a language delay and after some testing was moved to a mild special needs class.

Crawford said since joining the class he’s been on the honor roll and made improvements, but Crafowrd said she’s now worried that moving schools could have an effect on him. 

"Even his therapist is proud of his progress. It's just today I felt like I had a shock to my system when they called and said that he would have to go to Whitesville Elementary,” said Crawford.

Crawford said that Tuesday was the first she learned her son would be moving schools.

Crawford said the lack of communication, and not knowing her son could be moving schools until now, is what has her upset.

“It wasn’t so much that as it was the lack of communication that was given,” said Crawford. “I felt they could have either given us a letter or met with all the parents that would be effected by this.”

Officials with the district said the decision came from the special services team that’s working to transition students back to their home schools, rather than be bused in to a school outside of the area they live.

Crawford said moving her son from Berkeley Intermediate to Whiteville Elementary would actually be further from her home.

"I felt like it was more targeted to the special needs children at Berkeley intermediate, a specific group of students specially children in Garrison's class, the special needs kids there,” said Crawford.

District officials also said Whitesville is a K-5 school which will allow students to stay there without having transitioning to middle school.

Crawford said that is already the case for her child’s current school.

Officials also said they encourage parents who are concerned to reach out to school and district staff, saying this is not intended to be a hard-lined stance.

Officials said they are always willing to work with parents to determining how to reach each's student's needs.

Crawford said she reached out to her school board member and was waiting to hear back.

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