Mother’s Day — a time of pedicures, candy and flowers — was bittersweet for some local mothers, because it was also the day after the Killeen Independent School District school board election.

Saturday, three incumbent Killeen ISD board trustees were re-elected to third and fourth terms in some cases, despite the Texas Education Agency investigation of the district’s special education department.

For seven years, the state found, the district’s special education department was noncompliant. District officials are now trying to get it back on track.

A small group of people decided this election. Less than 3 percent of registered Killeen, Harker Heights and Nolanville voters cast a vote. Each challenging opponent lost by more than 15 percent.

This is why, for some mothers of special-needs children, the election results felt like a setback.

Three mothers advocating for change in Killeen ISD special education — Angela Garvin, Laura Thomas and Stephanie Moody — said the election aftermath was a hard pill to swallow.

“I’m disappointed that it didn’t go through,” said Laura Thomas. “Unless you are a special-needs mom, it just doesn’t quite always hit home.”

Thomas’ son attends Iduma Elementary School, where she has had problems, at times, obtaining special education services for her son, Rafe, who suffers from a rare condition, Schizencephaly, in which he is missing a large portion of the right side of his brain. (Read Rafe’s story at http://bit.ly/1VPAkoB)

Thomas said she is still hopeful for the future.“I really hope the school board members are going to take things seriously,” she said. “I think we proved to them that our kids deserve more and that they deserve better.”

Stephanie Moody, is the mother of a special-needs student attending Reeces Creek Elementary. For more than a year, she said she has had trouble obtaining appropriate educational services for her daughter, who has Apraxia, a neurological speech disorder. (Read more about Moody’s story at http://bit.ly/1UKPUkj)

“Today is a sad day for our family,” Moody said. “I feel like the community squandered a rare opportunity for change and let down my children.”

She said she hopes the next election is different.

“I know that a lot of people, who have never voted before, made it to the polls for this election,” she said. “It wasn’t enough, but maybe for the next election it will be.”

Angela Garvin, a new transplant to Killeen, removed her special-needs son from Reeces Creek Elementary after having enough, she said. (Read more about Garvin’s story at http://bit.ly/1Wj46m6)

Garvin no longer has her son in Killeen ISD, but said she hopes for better for other special education students and their families.

“I think parents are going to continue to fight for their children,” Garvin said. “My heart was filed with sadness, I cannot believe that this city didn’t see what this district is doing to future generations.”

On Mother’s Day, all three moms said their wish would be for more residents to get involved and pay attention to the district.

“Be more involved, get involved in the school board meetings,” Thomas said. “I really think you need to take an interest. Whether you have a special-needs child or not, it will affect your child down the road.”

On Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Killeen ISD board of trustees will receive the latest special education update. The public will also have an opportunity to speak. Meetings are held at the district administration building at 200 W. S. Young Drive.

Contact Lauren Dodd at ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7568

(8) comments

hajile92

i was disappointed by the low voter turnout for the school board election. It is clear that a lot work is needed to get the registered voters vested in voting in the local elections.

It is frustrating that the school board doesn't represent the racial and ethnic diversity of our large community.

I don't agree with the assertion that the voters who voted for the incumbents is an accurate representation that the incumbents are doing a stellar job in their respective roles.

There are many challenges within our school district and the low voter turnout is a factor that sustains the status quo system.

Thank goodness there are reporters that have courage to write about issues that impact under-presented groups within our community.

"It is difficult to be sat on every day, every day, by some creature, without forming and opinion about them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever. Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency,p.4


schiperno

Camden, I read all of your posts and as a KISD employee it should be no surprise to anyone that these are your feelings.

These politicians won and, in my opinion, that is unfortunate. I would rather see parents of children in the district on that school board. I feel like if the public was better educated about local politics and the disaster that is our school district these crooks would have been voted off.

Karen Morris

The voters who cast their ballots for the incumbents did so because they trust those three Board members to continue to lead this District in all that KISD has done right to educate the students of the District. They also obviously trust these incumbents to address any issues in the area of reforms/changes. A front page story about three parents who are unhappy with KISD does not reflect the thousands of other parents who are happy with the education of their children. As usual, Lauren Dodd has what amounts to a single issue agenda that she continues to try to jam down the throats of KDH's dwindling readership. It shows in her "reporting," and it even shows on her personal Facebook page. On March 4, for example, she posted on her personal FB page an article designed to stir up criticism of the new KISD Special Education Director. She then "tagged" the challengers running for the Board in order to send the post out to their Facebook pages as well. She also tagged several of the leaders of the opposition in this issue. Is this what passes for journalistic neutrality at KDH these days?

Karen Morris

The voters who cast their ballots for the incumbents did so because they trust those three Board members to continue to lead this District in all that KISD has done right to educate the students of the District. They also obviously trust these incumbents to address any issues in the area of reforms/changes. A front page story about three parents who are unhappy with KISD does not reflect the thousands of other parents who are happy with the education of their children. As usual, Lauren Dodd has what amounts to a single issue agenda that she continues to try to jam down the throats of KDH's dwindling readership. It shows in her "reporting," and it even shows on her personal Facebook page. On March 4, for example, she posted on her personal FB page an article designed to stir up criticism of the new KISD Special Education Director. She then "tagged" the challengers running for the Board in order to send the post out to their Facebook pages as well. She also tagged several of the leaders of the opposition in this issue. Is this what passes for journalistic neutrality at KDH these days?

texastorenado3

Yes !! nail on the head

MAJAG89

What a completely one-sided, borderline outright false statement of facts Ms.Dodd and the KDH editorial board are trying to pass off with this poorly veiled open assault on KISD.
It's pretty ironic and quite a bit gutsy that Ms. Dodd cites the low voter turnout as the reason for no change in the Board while trying to portray the views of just two KISD moms as "representative voice" of all moms in the district. What a crock.
While only 3% of the eligible voters actually voted, the three moms Ms. Dodd interviewed for this hatchet job represent two out the nearly 43,600 students in KISD!
She has over-inflated their views over the 3% who actually voted.
She also conveniently fails to mention if any of the three actually voted in the election. Are we to just assume they voted?
But whether they voted or not is really not important. What Ms. Dodd, these three moms and the KDH editorial board have failed to mention/attempted to hide in this sorry excuse for a journalistic story is that all three incumbents won their races with clear MAJORITIES and won their races by 15%.
The people who care enough to vote have clearly spoken and they voted for NO CHANGE.
Ms. Dodd and KDH need to stop throwing shade at KISD, its Board and its faculty. Mistakes were made. Corrective action has and is being taken. KDH helped in that. But continuing to pile on and crucify good people or question the will of the voters unnecessarily is just plain wrong.
Ms. Dodd and KDH know that and should do better.

texastorenado3

The truth !!

texastorenado3

oh my the sky is falling still.

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