Should special needs students be in mainstream classrooms? - FOX 13 News

Should special needs students be in mainstream classrooms?

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

School's out across Tampa Bay, but for some parents, there's a fight going on over what type of classroom their child will end up in this fall. 

Should special needs students be placed in mainstream classrooms?

Roberta Moore believes her son Daniel should.

"I have really pushed to have him included, which means for the general education classroom for as much time as possible," she said. 

However, last year Moore agreed to a school recommendation to pull Daniel out of regular class for special help with language and math.    

"We sit down. We talk about the child's needs.  We talk about the child's future and try to come to an agreement on the best place for a child," said Hillsborough County Schools spokesman Steve Hegarty.

Next year those special classes are reason for the school system moving Daniel from Dale Mabry Elementary to Chiaramonte Elementary full time.

"Right off the bat I was like absolutely not, this is our neighborhood school. He has every right to attend a school if he didn't' have a disability," Moore said.

She spoke to the school board Tuesday demanding inclusion, but it's not so simple.

"What's happening is it's the end of the school year.  This is the time of the year we decide where the teachers are going to be, where the programs are going to be, and therefore, where the students are going to be for appropriate placement," Hegarty said.

Hegarty said the school district assesses the child's needs with the changing resources of each school.  A panel will review Daniel's case before class assignments are final.

His mother will keep fighting for inclusion for her son and others like him.

"I think it's actually a beneficial thing. I think they learn from him, and he learns from them," she said.

There's no easy answer but lots of debate.  Daniel's mom will defend his case in the coming weeks.

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