Please help to get Skippack Elementary 5th grader included with his classmates for event

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ALL public school students in the Perkiomen Valley School District (PVSD), located in Collegeville, PA enjoy equal access to ALL school activities. That same standard of inclusiveness should also apply to school-sponsored field trips.

My family, including (now) 7 and 10 year old boys, was issued a LIFETIME ban by the SRA (Skippack Recreational Association, aka Skippack pool) with the order to ‘never step foot on property again’. This was unfortunately relayed with both young boys within earshot. This lifetime ban for the children means : NO swim team (not even if swimming for competing club; may not step foot on SRA property). NO birthday parties. NO guest privileges for the day with friends. NO sports parties. And the most devastating of all, NO 5th grade celebration for my 10 year old son, scheduled for May 29th. This field trip is THE rite of passage to middle school. A tradition. At least for my son, THE culmination of six years at Skippack Elementary. For some, a last chance to be together at school until they meet up again at the high school. A celebration on the school day. A day so hyped that some children, when interview type questions were published in the yearbook, would list the 5th grade pool celebration as their favorite Skippack event before it even happened.

Defending ourselves in the court of public opinion will unfortunately have no effect on a positive outcome. The facts are that the SRA has no formal grounds on which to exclude this child. It is absolutely unacceptable to punish INNOCENT children. No child should be made to suffer for unsubstantiated claims against their parent(s). 

This planned exclusion of this 10 year old CHILD from his school celebration is irrational and unfair. He has every right to unimpeded participation with his classmates. WHY should the SRA Board be allowed to get away with stealing a piece of his childhood? Social bullying is defined as hurting someone’s reputation or relationships; it includes leaving someone out on purpose or spreading rumors about someone. My son’s classmates WILL realize that he is missing from their celebration. My heart hurts for my children, all children really, and my community that any of this is deemed even remotely acceptable.  

The PVSD has provided alternatives for that day, but none give my son the opportunity to celebrate with his 5th grade peers. He is 10. He wants to go to the pool with his classmates. He should be able to go. I do not want him to look back, whether it be 6 months, 6 years or 6 decades from now, on his years at Skippack Elementary and have memories of being the one and only student who wasn’t able to participate in the 5th grade celebration because he was excluded. There is only ONE 5th grade celebration. No do-overs. No second chances. There is no doubt in my mind, he WILL be humiliated and devastated if he cannot go. 

We have requested from SRA Board Members to permit our son to be welcome with ALL other 5th grade Skippack elementary students, and we ask  for you to please do the same. I truly hope that the SRA Board will change their minds and move forward with this celebration event as planned and include all students.  

A call to action :
Please sign below to affirm ALL students should be allowed to participate by the SRA in this end-of-year celebration at their facility on May 29th (rain date May 30th). Thank you.