This speech I wrote and said at the May 2010 CFBISD (Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District) Board meeting, though that month the Carrolton Farmers Branch Independent School District chose not to live broadcast the one meeting; nor did they publish the meeting on their website, knowing I was going to be speaking and thus denying my Freedom of Speech and First Amendment Constitutional Rights. Their choice to not only do such but also require the "Our Father's Prayer" to be said instead of or more specifically including along with "The Pledge of Allegiance" offended me greatly, though I being as I am had no problem saying the Our Father's Prayer. I humbly request those who can assist me with such to contact me through my website email to inform me of what I can do since other aspects have been a problem. Thank you in advance.
This is a picture of my family of my son, my daughter, and I together in the year of 2008 before the problems began in full the following year of 2009. Can you see how happy we were, before McCoy Elementary Schools staff and adult volunteers who had destroyed such?
CFBISD Board Meeting Speech
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Most of you may not know who I am, but I am Susan Nichols, mother of Lidia and James Nichols, a 1st and 2nd grader at McCoy Elementary School. I come before you to address several issues, but first, I will give a brief back story of what happened. On 28 April 2010, Ms. Hatcher’s class, along with the other 1st graders, went to the Fort Worth Zoo. My 7 year old daughter, with the school’s documentation, she has Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia, and ADHD; not to mention grief from her father’s death from being killed in the Army in Iraq 2 years ago. Instead of placing Lidia with a trained professional, or at least the teacher who was qualified to deal with Lidia, the school placed Lidia in a group of 6 children with 3 parents. The parents and students left Lidia behind, to wander for who knows how long unattended. She was then picked up by zoo security and taken to Guest Relations for 24 minutes. How long total was she by herself?
The next day, in class, Lidia was having an emotional breakdown. Instead of Ms. Hatcher calming Lidia down, she yelled at her and said that Lidia was acting like a 2 year old in front of the entire class, by her own admission, to which the children laughed further. Lidia was already hitting herself and choking herself before the comment and before lashing out at another student, the day after the traumatic incident and the name calling by her supposed mentor.
Now, in order to get meetings with the principal and the district, I had to write and make phone calls. There was no initiative on the parent’s part, the school’s part, or the district’s part to just say that they were sorry for what happened. Instead, it was pushed under the rug before my daughter and I were blamed for the parent‘s and the school‘s choices.
To which, I must ask, is it because I have red hair and tattoos that I am not being taken seriously? Is it because people cannot get past my physical appearance that they cannot see what was done wrong to my daughter? Whether or not she was mentally disabled, she should not have been left alone at the Fort Worth Zoo. Had it been someone of normal hair color, and minimal tattoos if any, I doubt I would have been treated as I have. This is a form of discrimination, and I will not stand for it. Had I been the typical Susie Homemaker, with my natural, long, brown hair, and without any of my tattoos; I doubt I would have been treated the way I have been. I have seen how Ms. Rink, Ms. McLaughlin, and Ms. Hatcher treat parents who are white and clean cut, not half Chinese with spiritual symbolism all over their body. Yes, I understand I look different, but it does not mean that I am not to be treated at least like a human being; a mother; and that is what the parents, school, and district have failed to do.
Originally, I just wanted a heart felt apology from the parents, the school, and from the district. Instead, the parents have said nothing; and the school and the district have met me with resentment and hatred for the situation at hand. Now that the circumstances have become what they are, I seek answers and more which are outlined in the following.
Why has the parents, school, and district decided not to come forward and just say or write a heartfelt apology? Instead of “We regret Lidia became separated from her group…” as that is not saying one is sorry for what happened. The lack of sincerity in each meeting and in the letters further demonstrates the cover up that the school has so vigorously pursued from the start as they still have yet to make an incident report.
In the original letter from the school, the school said that the whole incident took about 15 minutes, yet the zoo reports having Lidia in their custody for 24 minutes. That does not include the time it took the guard to walk her from where he found her to the Guest Relations Area, nor does that include the time that she was wandering by herself. Why does the original letter state only 15 minutes?
In the original letter from the school, the school did not address Ms. Hatcher’s comment to Lidia when she called her a 2 year old; the day after the incident at the zoo. As she said it to Lidia, in front of the class, while Lidia was already under a desk, hitting herself and choking herself; the class laughed harder. What became of this situation with Ms. Hatcher?
In Mr. Cole’s letter, it states that Mrs. Rink cares and understands my concerns and needs of my children. If Mrs. Rink truly understood then none of this would have happened. Nor would my daughter have been blamed, nor would I have been blamed for the school’s mistake of handing my innocent daughter to 3 incompetent adults? It was negligence on the school’s part to leave my daughter with the irresponsible parents who endangered my daughter’s well-being.
In Mr. Cole’s letter, it states that the district can adequately educate my children. I have no doubt in that. My fear and hesitation come into play for my son and daughter’s physical safety now, and their mental, emotional, and psychological stability. The district has proven, with it’s actions, and through Ms. Hatcher and Mrs. Rink, that the school and district are not prepared to deal with my daughter. I do believe that is why the district should be responsible for my children’s schooling as now both of them, are afraid of McCoy Elementary and Lidia is petrified of everyone and everything associated with it.
In Mr. Cole’s letter, it states that there was an investigation of the zoo and of Ms. Hatcher. What happened? What were the parents’ reasons for leaving my daughter unattended at the Fort Worth Zoo? What was Ms. Hatcher’s reason for calling Lidia a 2 year old in front of the class? Embarrassing her, knowing how emotionally fragile she already is? What is going to or has become of that?
Who will now take care of the new medical expenses that are incurred for Lidia? Who is going to be responsible for James’ therapy, that he asked for because he missed his sister?
Who is going to be responsible for the travel expenses that I have received from traveling to and from Carrollton and Denton? What about when Lidia is transferred to Austin?
Lidia’s father’s memorial painting service was this past weekend (14 May 2010) in Amarillo, TX. Her brother was able to attend, meet the artist, meet soldiers, and have fun with other families, but Lidia could not attend because of her being hospitalized.
I have done some research and a child with Lidia’s conditions is considered disabled. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, children who fall into this category are required to have qualified and trained chaperones when off school premises. With that, why did the school choose to place my daughter, with known mental deficiencies and new medication, in the care of 3 inexperienced, reckless parents instead of at the very least, her teacher? Also, under these laws, what Ms. Hatcher did constitutes as abuse.
In closing, I stand before you parents, mothers, fathers, and teachers in your own right to reveal the danger your children are in. In a perfect world, perfect circumstances exist and are responded to perfectly. I have no doubt in my mind that McCoy Elementary, under ideal circumstances, is an exemplary and honorary campus, fully capable of educating our children and helping them grow. However, in a situation where the school is at fault, and is blatantly disastrous to the well being and safety of our children, McCoy has demonstrated a ruthless aggression towards covering the issue up, pushing blame onto others, and disregarding the damage they committed to my daughter. I stand before you not as a vengeful woman, but a mother who witnessed my daughter’s mental health be eroded and destroyed, all at the callous disregard of the faculty you and I once trusted, and to give fair warning so that the situation might not be reciprocated unto any or all of you.