Attorneys have agreed to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging a decision by Delaware’s Department of Education to close a struggling, all-girls charter school.
State officials announced in November that Reach Academy for Girls, a predominantly black school in New Castle with a history of financial and academic struggles, would close at the end of the school year.
Reach officials filed a lawsuit claiming that the school had been treated unfairly and was the subject of gender discrimination.
The filing of a stipulation of dismissal Friday came after a federal judge earlier this year granted a preliminary injunction and ordered state officials to renew the school’s charter for another year.
In granting the injunction, the judge dismissed the school’s claims but allowed individual student plaintiffs to pursue gender-based discrimination claims.
Prologue: of bright skies, future words, and agendas
This is a true story based on lies. It’s a true story in terms of events, but I have change the names of people and places for legal reasons . But that will not diminish the fact that events in it are true.
As an only child, my son Jon was a blessing to his mother and I. His infant and toddler years were rather uneventful, a minor ear condition here, a major stomach flu there. We noticed a lot of energy with Jon at an early age. He was very playful and always smiling. He liked to draw and play with superhero toys and dress up like his favorite characters. He loved to play outside, and his smile could (and still does) melt a thousand winter days. For preschool, we sent him to a church-based curriculum and he did very well academically for a child of his age. We noticed he had more energy than others, and that caused some social problems for him, but nothing too major.
For Kindergarten, we sent him to The Tiny School in the County Of Kent. He made lots of friends there, and life was good for him. His teacher there would comment on how he could interrupt a lot and he would always be moving. By the end of the year, we noticed Jon would get easily upset with others. Another teacher there, Miss Lyssa, tried to help and parents and teachers agreed on a plan for Jon with a reward incentive based on colored string. This helped Jon at first, but it wasn’t a long-term solution. As parents with an only child, we were concerned, and we would ask his pediatrician if he could see anything. He told us Jon was a typical child, a bit energetic, but nothing to worry about. We had decided to take Jon to The Tiny School for the sole purpose and hope of getting him into that charter school in the County Of Kent. We had heard so many great things about that charter school. We paid a rather large sum of money to have Jon go to The Tiny School, which was rather difficult for us at the time, but the reward and promise of getting him into such a great and prestigious school was worth it. When Jon was picked to go to that charter school in the County Of Kent, we were ecstatic.
Before Jon finished at The Tiny School, we had an orientation at that charter school in the County Of Kent. The building was surrounded by academics, and the principal at the charter school, by the name of Lady Ellen, said that was the reason why they stood out from all the other schools in the area. The academic people that surrounded them were there to help at any time and if your child had academic problems they could jump in and support. Parental involvement was a requirement to have your child go to the school. We met his teacher, Miss Cersi, that same evening. She had years of vast experience and knowledge, and I truly felt my son would do well at such a great school. The future was bright for Jon.
Let us flash forward thirty-seven months and look back. The previous three years for Jon were like a roller coaster ride, that eventually went off the track and crashed, and my son’s spirit died for a long time. Pure, unbridled chaos would not even begin to describe my family’s experience. It was like each trimester at this school was another journey through Dante’s Nine Circles Of Hell. By the time Jon left that charter school in the County Of Kent, I would see things I never imagined in my wildest dreams. For you see, I even had the opportunity to work there during a part of my son’s tenure there. And I saw oh so much. Imagine a place, if you will, where everything is bright and shiny on the outside. And everyone talks about what a fantastic place it is. But then the glow wears off, and you see the cracks in the foundations, and everything becomes grey and dark and ugly to the soul.
This is a story of my son’s journey through this very particular hell, and what emerged at the end of this was a family forever changed. None of us would ever be the same again. Thanks to Sir Kilroy, he has given me the opportunity to tell Jon’s story. I will be telling it in pieces, as it is long. I tell Jon’s story in the hope that other parents will read it and understand what is really happening not only at that charter school in the County Of Kent, but so many of the other wonderful charters in the Kingdom Of Del. Words like idea, choice, hypocrite, revenge, individual, loud, common, plan, cell, manifestation, free, find, child, phone, determination, tic, theory, education, lottery, public, neurobiological, supression, license, core, suspension, purposeful, education, obnoxious and cookie all have great weight in the story. Sometimes the combinations of some of these words are the true crux of the story. Even a number as random as 504 can have a major ramification for all involved. We will see comments on chapters where someone may deny everything. But I would never tell a true story without knowing the dangers of telling lies. During the telling of this story, some will believe my son to be at fault, some will blame the parents, some will say the parents are overprotective and refused to listen to reason, and some will see things for how they were. My hope is that by the end, everyone will see through the smoke and mirrors and truly understand what is going on with our children in so many similar situations playing out every day, even now, in the Kingdom of Del. If not, I may need to move onto Book 2.
I have no fear of telling this story. Intimidation rarely works on me, and I base the tales in this story on documented fact. Documented by that charter school in the County of Kent, and in the most wonderful creation in the entire world: email. When one truly learns how to navigate around the net of webs, puzzle pieces begin to come together and new patterns emerge. Human emotion is a very huge part of Jon’s story though, so I will do my best to show how emotion can become fact. Some may read this and know how the story ends, or how they think the story ends. Some may know some facts and have formed a bias based on having just pieces of the puzzle. Some may have heard lies and believe that to be the gospel truth. Some will most assuredly think I am writing this to expose. And they would be right. Too often in society, things are seen and we do nothing about it and just accept it for how it is. I ask all to keep an open mind. I have no political agenda. I am just a parent who came out of a dark tunnel with my eyes opened to a new reality, but one that has always been there and is unseen for many. Welcome to Jon’s journey.
Jon’s loving father
To be continued
Message from Kilroy, Jon’s dad is the real deal and this is his story. I’ve asked him to be cryptic with names and places. His story is not an attack on charter schools but a reflection of his experience, his son’s experience and the negative impact of the experiences of this one charter school. I know many parents of special needs children and the fears and concerns they have. I am giving Jon’s father space here to tell his story and help other parents. As for you young parents with children starting school special needs are not, never attend a parent conference without a note pad and pencil. Document all phone calls and school communications with times, places and people. When there is a problem saying, some lady I talked to on the phone or a few weeks ago will allow the system to eat you alive and scapegoat. The pen is the most powerful tool you “need”. Children and parents of charter schools are not “guest” they are owners and beware of the corporate smiles at the front desk. As far as traditional public schools, the world public is the clue!