School Sends Discriminatory Letter to Student Who Uses a Wheelchair
When Jake Wesely received what he describes as a discriminatory letter from his high school, he took to social media to right a wrong.
Wesely, 14, attends Bucks County Technical High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. He uses a wheelchair because he lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.
Recently, the school sent a letter to Jake’s family, and the families of about 60 other students, saying “medically exempt” students would not be allowed to participate in the school’s athletic Field Day.
The letter explained that medically exempt students would be required to wear red wristbands to separate them from the other children. If they were caught removing the bands or participating in the activities, they would face “disciplinary consequences.”
Feeling marginalized, Jake posted a photo of the letter to Twitter.
I'm jake I attend bucks county technical high school and received this letter that I believe is discrimination. pic.twitter.com/H12SRDZqHR
— Jake wesley (@AppleMan0608) May 30, 2015
Disability activists and news organizations quickly connected with Jake online, and it didn’t take long before his school took notice.
School officials soon retracted the letter, which they’d been sending out for years, and issued a full apology, CBS News reported.
“I’m happy he brought it to our attention,” Dr. Leon Poeske, the school administrative director, told the outlet. “We were wrong.”
“I am glad to see such a strong young man take action for the basic rights as [his] classmates,” Amanda Ranochak, a Bucks County Technical High School alumna, told The Mighty in an email. “I only hope this strength will carry [him] on for the rest of [his] time in high school and beyond. Many of us on the sidelines are cheering for [him].”
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