Suffield Parents Concerned of Safety for Special Needs Students During Summer Program - NBC Connecticut

Suffield Parents Concerned of Safety for Special Needs Students During Summer Program

(Published Monday, June 6, 2016)

Parents of special education kids in Suffield are fired up over a change in child care they say could be putting their children in danger.

They are upset about the town's plan to send special needs students to Suffield's summer camp at Sunrise Park for the district's extended school year program.

"The body of water is a huge safety risk. It's a lake that has different levels of deepness. There's no barrier to it or fencing,” Jill Caron, the mother of a special needs child, told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

Caron believes there could have been more thought and planning put into the decision.

“My other concern is on rainy days, they're all inside one pavilion and an autistic child doe not deal well with chaos and loud noises. Another concern is just the woods, because some of these kids are flight risks."

Parents first brought up concerns at a Board of Education meeting in May.

"When the concerns came up this time, we did encourage our superintendent to reach out to town administrators,” Board of Education Chairman Jeanne Gee said.

Some of those same parents are expected at a Board of Education meeting Monday night, and Gee said town officials will be present too.

“They'll be at the meeting tonight to address all those concerns so we can make sure any concerns that are out there with parents that we're speaking to those, acknowledging those and letting them know that in everything we do every day, we seek to keep our children safe in whatever setting they're in."

Despite the protests of some parents, Gee said she doesn't foresee any changes in the plan to bring children to the park this summer.

The Troubleshooters called and stopped by the Superintendent Karen Berasi's office Monday and were told Berasi had meetings all day and was not available for comment.

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