Mother: Daughter’s rights violated

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

FERRIDAY &045; One Concordia Parish mother said her child’s civil rights have been violated and she does not want others or her daughter to suffer further.

In an Oct. 14 regular meeting, Shandra Davis addressed the Concordia Parish School Board during executive session.

Davis later said she asked for the resignation of two school district employees because one-on-one supervision was not provided for her special-needs child &045; something she said she has been fighting for since 2000.

Email newsletter signup

Davis had asked the district to provide supervision at all times. When neither Ferriday Upper Elementary nor the district’s special populations personnel did not provide it, Davis took her child to Orleans Parish and had her re-evaluated, she said.

In 2001, Davis’ daughter fell and broke her foot in the hallway, something Davis said would not have happened if her child were supervised.

Also, Davis said her daughter would come home complaining that other children were hitting her.

Davis said her nephew witnessed the abuse at least once, even giving her names once, but nothing was done.

Davis said she requested the board terminate Ferriday Upper Elementary Principal Lillian Franklin for both incidents &uot;so no one else’s child should have to suffer the neglect and abuse.&uot;

Franklin had no comment.

She also asked for the resignation of Mary Tarver, director of special populations, for not providing supervision the first time.

Tarver said she could not comment about the situation or the child. &uot;Due to the confidentiality standards, I don’t feel I can discuss the specifics of her daughter,&uot; Tarver said Monday. &uot;We have listened to her concerns that we sympathize with all of our parents.&uot;

When Concordia Parish would not provide supervision, Davis looked elsewhere, transferring her child to Orleans Parish in 2002 so a new evaluation could be done.

As a result, near the end of the 2002-03 school year, her daughter was finally re-evaluated and the evaluation concluded her daughter needed constant supervision.

Coming back to Concordia Parish, Davis’ daughter is supposed to be receiving the services, but Davis is not sure of that. Just a week and a half ago, her daughter came home telling her that other students were hitting her.

Davis said this has motivated her to take the test for paraprofessionals to be her daughter’s supervision at school.

&uot;I will volunteer myself eight hours to make sure my child is not abused or neglected,&uot; Davis said. But when she is certified, &uot;I want to be on payroll if I’m doing someone else’s job.&uot;

Davis said the board, along with Interim Superintendent Fred Butcher, told her they would investigate the claims and write back to her within five days with a conclusion, complete with all of the board’s signatures.

On the sixth day, Davis said, she received a letter from Butcher that said he had talked to all parties and found the accusations &uot;unsubstantiated.&uot;

He also said he would recommend to the board to take no action, but there were no board signatures.

Because she was not satisfied, Davis requested on Oct. 22 to be on the Nov. 11 regular meeting agenda. Last Thursday, she received another letter from Butcher, saying she would not be on the agenda because &uot;we feel that we have listened to your complaint and grievance in accordance with school board policy.&uot;

The board president and the superintendent, or in this case the interim, do set the school board agenda. Butcher would only say he followed the district’s &uot;prescribed procedure&uot; when investigating the claims and they were &uot;unfounded.&uot;