Buffalo Public School parents rally in support of basketball program for disabled students

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Parents in the Buffalo Public Schools are sticking for a basketball program that allows students with disabilities to compete on the court.

On Tuesday night, they rallied at the Masten Park courts in support of the program.

Parents say the district is leaving it out as it brings back varsity sports this month.

Parents and teachers say the district’s action is not fair to the kids.

“My challenge is, the district talks about equality, and there’s no equality when you let a general education student play basketball, and you don’t let a special ed kid play,” said Edward Speidel, parent of a special needs student. “It’s embarrassing and we can’t stand for it.”

“These kids just want to compete, they want to compete just like the students who are typical students,” said Jim Bartram, coach and teacher at Frederick Law Olmsted School. “So that’s all we’re asking for is to get together, make this thing work, so that all the kids can play.”

The buffalo public schools released a statement tonight.

It says there are students with disabilities on all, or almost all, of the district’s athletic teams. The statement also says the district does not exclude students with disabilities from playing with the regular sports teams.

The district says it is legally a problem to segregate students with disabilities from the regular teams.

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