Allow my children to finish 2021 school year

Allow my children to finish 2021 school year

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Erin Molodich started this petition to Town of Sterling Board of Ed and

My children, Izayah (8th grade), Jeremiah (7th grade), Elijah (5th grade), and Gabrielle (1st grade), are being forced to disenroll from Sterling Community School in Sterling, Connecticut. This matter is taking place because the Superintendent of Sterling Community School, Dr. Gail Lanza, began an investigation on my family saying that we do not reside in the town of Sterling as permanent residents.

On March 11, 2021, I received a letter in the mail from Dr. Lanza stating that my children had to be disenrolled from Sterling school immediately. In the letter, I was given an option to a hearing with the Board of Education. I agreed to a hearing and sent in my letter notifying her that I wanted to proceed with the hearing. On March 25, 2021, I had a hearing in front of the Sterling Board of Ed, Dr. Lanza, the schools attorneys, and several witnesses from the Sterling Community School. At the time of the hearing, I was informed that Dr. Lanza hired a private investigator to do surveillance on my family, to prove that my children should be disenrolled from the Sterling school. When the private investigator spoke at the hearing, I learned that over the course of a month and a half, he followed me and my children, from their permanent residence in Sterling, CT at their grandparents house to their father's house in Griswold, CT. He presented a PowerPoint presentation with videos and pictures of my vehicle, my fathers vehicle, and my children. In one of the videos he presented, he had followed me and my children going from their father's house in Griswold to our permanent residence in Sterling. Following that video, he showed several pictures of my children standing in the driveway of our Sterling residence, waiting for the bus. He also presented pictures of my vehicle in the driveway in Griswold on a weekend, and of my children playing outside on the playground. At the conclusion of his surveillance, he stated that because he noted my vehicle being present in Griswold, at my children's fathers house, that must mean that my children do not permanently live in Sterling, with myself and their grandparents. He also stated that I drive my children to Sterling every day, just to be able to continue going to school in Sterling. During the hearing, I was able to state my case, presenting that myself and my children do in fact live in Sterling, with my parents. I also stated that the time spent in Griswold is because we spend some time with their father, because that is where he lives. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Education made the decision that my children don't live in Sterling, based on the private investigators findings, and that they are denied school accommodations in Sterling. I was notified that I may appeal the decision, once a formal letter was sent through the mail.

This matter is very important to me to be resolved because the school year ends June 14, 2021, and it is not fair that my children are forced to go to another school, where they do not reside nor know anybody. Izayah, who is in 8th grade, suffers from Childhood PTSD, which has been clinically diagnosed. He has begun preparing for graduation from Sterling Community School, has been fitted for his cap and gown, has been working on his high school preparations, and was chosen for 8th grade superlatives for the yearbook. Taking him out of a school, where he has been in for the past 5 years, with the same class, is detrimental to his mental health. As for my other three children, being taken out of Sterling Community School, at such short notice at the end of the school year, would also be detrimental. They all have long lasting relationships with the teachers and faculty, as well as their classmates.

I am hoping that by starting this petition, I can sway the Board of Education to allow my children to finish the school year out in its entirety. In order to make this happen, I am asking for the communities support in making it possible. This matter is near and dear to my heart, because it involves my children. I don't want to see them go through the emotional stress of having to start at a different school, just to have the school year end in June. I am asking that you please pass this petition along to everyone you know, so we can all make an impact. Thank you.

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