Local/State

Wake mom says son's class has no teacher

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A class for deaf students has gone for months without a teacher qualified to teach sign language - according to a Wake County mother.

She says her 6-year-old son is falling behind on learning sign language at Walnut Creek Elementary in southeast Raleigh which would allow him to be integrated with other students.

The school is a long way from Julie Payne's house in Apex - 25 miles - but she says it's the only public school where her son Ridley - who is deaf - can learn sign language. So every day, he rides for an hour plus to go back and forth.

As a kindergartener at Walnut Creek, Payne says her son he learned a lot. But a month into his first grade year, the hearing impaired specialist at the school quit. She says the children went without instruction until last month.

But even now, Payne says the fill-in teacher only comes three days a week.

"So their solution is they get an interim teacher in there three days a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  There's no teacher on Tuesday, no teacher on Thursdays.  The kids are left with a substitute teacher who doesn't teach them.  Found out the other day that they were playing with iPads all day," said Payne.

Frustrated, Payne reached out to ABC11.

"I'm not an unreasonable person.  I just want my son to be educated. They're not following his IEP.  His goals are not being met.  And no one at the school board seems to care," she offered.

The school sent ABC11 a statement Thursday afternoon saying it has repeatedly advertised for a qualified replacement since the hearing impaired specialist left in September, but so far has not been able to find one.

"A substitute and an interpreter who signs have been assigned to the classroom since the teacher left. Additional hearing-impaired specialists from central office also work in the classroom several days a week to meet the needs of the individual students," it said in a statement.

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Tags:
wake county, wake county schools, local/state, ed crump
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