School Board to Discuss Special Needs Policies - WFLA News Channel 8

School Board to Discuss Special Needs Policies

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The Hillsborough County School Board will discuss new and revised policies on how to handle emergencies with special needs students. Tuesday a task force will present more than 80 pages of suggestions. The changes come after two special needs students died recently.

11-year-old Jennifer Caballero, who had down syndrome, wandered away from Rogers Middle School and drowned in a pond. 7-year-old Isabella Herrera died from respiratory problems. Her parents blame staff for misplacing her wheel chair on the bus.

"Over the last several years the number of medically fragile children in the school district, many of them in traditional schools, has increased dramatically," District Spokesperson, Steve Hegarty, said. "In many ways that's very good because many of the parents want kids to be included in a regular school setting but it's a difficult balance to strike."

The new and revised policies are more comprehensive and give step by step instructions to guide teachers and staff in emergency situations. The meeting is Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the district building 901 E. Kennedy Blvd.  

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