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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Buffalo school families & community call for return of Unified Sports

Credit: WKBW Buffalo
Duration: 03:46s 0 shares 2 views
Buffalo school families & community call for return of Unified Sports
Buffalo school families & community call for return of Unified Sports
Buffalo school families & community call for return of Unified Sports

DECISION BY THE BUFFALO PUBLICSCHOOL DISTRICT..

AND THESTRONG RESPONSE TODAY FROMFAMILIES.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICTSAYS -- IT WILL NOT BEOFFERING UNIFIED SPORTSPROGRAMS THIS SEASON.

IT'S AMOVE MANY FAMILIES WORRY WILLHAVE A LASTING IMPACT.ACCORDING TO THE SPECIALOLYMPICS ORGANIZATION --EIGHTY-TWO PERCENT OF U-SFAMILIES REPORT -- THEIRATHLETES HAD IMPROVEDSELF-ESTEEM AFTERPARTICIPATING IN A UNIFIEDPROGRAM.

NINETY-FOUR PERCENTOF ATHLETES AND THEIR PARTNERSSAY UNIFIED SPORTS MADE THEMHEALTHIER.

AND ABOUT EIGHTY-PERCENT OF TEAMMATES WITHOUTINTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES...REPORTED AN INCREASEDUNDERSTANDING OF PEOPLE*WIT*DISABILITIES.THAT'S WHY FAMILIES MADE THEIRVOICES HEARD THIS AFTERNOON --HOLDING A RALLY -- AND SENDINGA MESSAGE TO DISTRICT LEADERS.7 EYEWITNESS NEWS SENIORREPORTER EILEEN BUCKLEY IS ONTHE STORY.}} (:39) (1:51) CHANTING:"LET THEM PLAY." PARENTS,STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND COACHESRALLYING AGAINST THE BUFFALOPUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT'SDECISION TO HALT UNIFIEDSPORTS.} WHILE OTHER UNIFIEDTEAMS ACROSS WESTERN NEW YORKARE ALLOWED TO PLAY... THECITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUEDTHIS LETTER SAYING THEATHLETIC DEPARTMENT IS FACINGITS OWN "SET OF CHALLENGES"DUE TO COVID AND WILL ONLYALLOW VARSITY SPORTS TOREOPEN, BUT WILL*NO* OFFERUNIFIED SPORTS AT THIS TIME.NASIR.

PLAYING FOR UNIFIEDSPORTS HAS CHANGED MY LIFE&AND FOR OTHER KIDS I PLAY WITHFOR OMSTED." UNIFIED SPORTSALLOWS STUDENTS WITHINTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES TOPLAY ON VARSITY TEAMS WITHSCHOOL ATHLETES.

JIM.

"AND IHAD A PARENT COME UP TO ME ANDASK ME SO WHICH ONE OF THESTUDENTS HAS DISABILITIES&ANDTHAT ONE OF THE MOST REWARDINGTHINGS I HAD EVERY HEARD."SHANNON KIBLIN.

"IT'SDISAPPIOTNING...ITSHEARTBREAKING FOR OUR KIDS ASWELL." SHANNON KIBLIN'S16-YEAR-OLD SON NOAH IS AUNIFIED SPORTS BASKETBALPLAYER AT CITY HONORS.} FOURCITY SCHOOLS: CITY HONORS,OLMSTED, HUTCH TECH AND MIDDLECOLLEGE ALL PARTICIPATE.

ONECOACH IS PROVIDED FOR EACH OFTHE TEAMS AND STUDENTS PLAYSIX GAMES.} "NOAH MOVE OUT!"NOAH IS IN 11TH GRADE AT CITYHONORS AND AND IS ALSOENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL'S STARSPROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITHAUTISM.

EILEEN BUCKLEY.

"DOYOU MISS BASKETBALL?" NOAH."YES, I LIKE PLAYINGBASKETBALL WITH MY TEAM."NOAH'S MOM SAYS UNIFIED SPORTSALLOWED HIM TO FORM SPECIALFRIENDSHIPS.

SHANNON.

"THEYWOULD SEE EACH OTHER IN THEHALLS ... THEY WOULD STOP ANDCHAT ..SOMETIMES NOAH WOULDSIT WITH HIM AND HIS FRIENDSAT LUNCH AND THAT'S ALL THINGSTHAT WOULD HAVE NEVERHAPPENED." PARENTS SAY THEY'VEBEEN GIVEN SEVERAL REASONS BYTHE DISTRICT'S ATHLETICDEPARTMENT INCLUDING TELLINGFAMILIES THEY'RE NOT SURE HOWTHE STUDENTS ENDED UP IN THEIRDEPARTMENT AND ARE*HANDINGTHEM OFF TO THE SPECIALEDUCATION DEPARTMEN*.

KIBLINSAYS THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS.SHANNON.

"THAT'S THE BOX THATYOU'RE PUTTING THEM IN...YOU'RE BASICALLY SAYINGEVERY ASPECT OF THEIRSCHOOLING ...NO MATTER WHATTHEY DO IS GOING TO BE BASEDON THEIR SPECIALEDUCAITON..AND NOT WHO THEYARE AS KIDS." THE DISTRICT'SGENERAL COUNSEL NATHANIELKUZMA ISSUED A STATEMENTSAYING IN PART: "THERE ARESTUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES ONALL OR ALMOST ALL OF OURATHLETIC TEAMS BECAUSE THEDISTRICT DOES NOT EXCLUDESTUDENTS WITH DISABILITIESFROM PARTICIPATING IN THEDISTRICT'S REGULAR SPORTSOFFERINGS.

HE ALSO STATED "ITIS PROBLEMATIC LEGALLY TOSEGREGATE STUDENTS WITHDISABILITIES FROM THESEOPPORTUNITIES."}EILEEN, DOES IT APPEAR THEDISTRICT BRASS ARE THE ONEPREVENTING STUDENTS FROMPLAYING?

ASHLEY, YES.

A VERYRELIABLE SOURCE TOLD ME THATALL FOUR SCHOOLS ARE READY ANDWILLING TO HOST PLAY FOR THEUNIFIED SPORTS STUDENTS.

NOWTHEY'RE HOPING THE DISTRICTAND SCHOOL BOARD REVERSES THISDECISION.

ASHLEY.STILL TO COME TONIGHT ON 7EYEWITNESS NEWS AT S

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