Parents push for meeting with school board officials over special needs classrooms

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. -- Parents of special needs students are fighting for an emergency meeting with school district officials after seeing the disparity between classrooms at the newly built Earl Warren Jr. High in Solana Beach.

Two portable trailers are currently slated to serve as classrooms for just over 60 special needs students enrolled in the Adult Transition Program, also known as ATP, which prepares teen students with special needs for the real world.

Upset parents are calling on the San Dieguito Union High School District to meet for an emergency gathering at the trailers so teachers and officials can see for themselves the issues caused by the temporary classrooms.

“Rachel said, ‘that school is for babies, Mom.’ And I said, ‘for babies?’ She said, ‘yes, those are middle school kids, Mom. They’re seventh and eighth graders. I’m in high school, Mom,’” said Lisa Gil.

Parents say the visible inequities are clear to everyone: floor-to-ceiling windows for the regular program kids and a square box with a single window for the Adult Transition Students.

“Really saddened and outrage that we have this whole other group of kids, the Adult Transition Program, that’s literally behind the wall, in trailers,” said Dr. Natasha Bollock, a parent of a student.

In heated school board meetings, two of five board members agreed with parents’ frustrations and to an emergency meeting to help solve the problems, but other members blocked gathering.

In a statement to FOX 5, Superintendent Eric Dill said:

"We do not have a special meeting scheduled for this week. We are still working on potential solutions to relocate some or all of the program to different campuses in facilities which also suit the program needs."

If the meeting moves forward, it’s likely most of the school officials won’t attend, though they say they are working on a solution.