Justice for Jake

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Jake has only three months left before his school, Southern Autistic, force him to leave without him gaining the very thing he went there for - an education.

Jake is a learner. But for 13 years, his school had treated him as if he is incapable of learning the most basic skills.

Not only did they not educate him, but as a non-verbal student, they failed to even give him a communication method. Unless he is surrounded by loving, caring, people for the rest of his life, he is at risk of abuse and won’t be able to tell a soul if anything happens to him, because Southern Autistic were too disinterested to put any effort into his communication, and now he does not have a functional communication method. He cannot make life decisions or express his wishes and preferences. Only one month ago, they admitted they did not have the password to program his communication device.

In desperation, his mother withdrew her consent for all nonacademic activities (which take up most of the week) and demanded Principal Bruce McPhate give him an education and put effort into teaching him on his communication device. Bruce McPhate has refused and has ignored her withdrawal of consent, continuing the babysitting of Jake who is treated like a five-year-old, doing trampolining every week and unpaid work experience for sheltered workshops.

Students with disabilities are worthy of all the efforts that teachers can make to educate them. Jake deserves a meaningful future. Disability should not mean despair. We want the Department of Education to commit to educating Jake and teaching him how to communicate.

If you believe in dignity and a meaningful life for people with disabilities, please sign our petition.