WICHITA, Kansas — KSN talked to USD 259 administrators Friday about their policy regarding sports letters and our story concerning the East High School student.
Officials said they want to make two important points of clarification:
“At no time did the teacher take Michael’s jacket off and replace it with a sweatshirt.”
They said, “It’s important for the district to recognize all of the students who participate in school activities as representatives of their school. Students have pride in being a part of the school community. We put priority on creating those opportunities to celebrate.”
Michael’s mother did tell us the jacket was removed and he came home in a sweatshirt.
Both the school and the family say a teacher did say they would prefer Michael not wear the jacket because he didn’t earn the varsity letter.
USD 259’s superintendent, John Allison also talked to KSN about the controversy.
KSN specifically asked him why one high school in the district does allow special needs athletes to earn the same varsity letter as all other athletes earn. Wichita’s East High does not.
Sunday, John Allison talked one-on-one with KSN about why there is no district-wide policy.
The superintendent said the school is working with the league Michael plays in to try to come up with whether or not varsity letters will be allowed, but it he says it may take some time.
“So, I can understand frustration in that I’d like the answer Monday, but this is volunteer league and their board has been working through a process of developing criteria and how this fits with their league goals, and how can we best support them,” said Allison
Allison said he is looking forward to working with both the school board, and the athletic board Michael plays in.FOLLOW THE TIMELINE OF THIS STORY:
- 4/05: Michael Kelley gets special treatment in San Antonio
- 4/02: Tri County League says special needs athletes will earn the same varsity letter
- 4/01: Rhode Island athlete collects varsity letters for Kansas boy with special needs
- 3/30: Mother of special needs athlete holds presser after USD 259 BOE meeting
- 3/30: USD 259 School Board hears from parents about varsity letters for special needs kids
- 3/30: Special needs student letter debate sparks social media uproar
- 3/29: USD 259 Superintendent lays out expectations for Mondays BOE meeting
- 3/29: USD 259 Superintendent talks about alternative sports recognition
- 3/29: East High principal responds to varsity letter controversy
- 3/28: Mom of special needs son fights for change in USD 259 district policy
- 3/28: Chicago Bulls assistant coach supports Michael Kelley
- 3/27: Debate continues over East High letter policy for special needs athletes
- 3/27: Schools reach out to special needs athlete
- 3/27: Local organization says inclusion vital to special needs kids
- 3/27: School district responds to student story
- 3/27: Students create petition for East High student to earn varsity letter
- 3/26: Mom says special needs son at East High told to remove his varsity letter