More than 500 sign petition for removal of Jackson Co. School District superintendent

More than 500 sign petition for removal of Jackson Co. School District superintendent

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Since a report was released about a special needs student being mistreated on a Jackson County School District bus, several parents have spoken out against the district's handling of the incident.

One mom has started an online petition calling for the school board to remove Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker. So far the petition has over 500 signatures.

"Oddly, it was telling the child, from what I understand, she was calling out for grandparents, and telling the child that they could not hear her," said Holly Fedel, a social worker who started the petition and who is helping to organize a rally before Monday's school board meeting.

Fedel said the video she watched online of a student being mistreated at the hands of a Jackson County School District teacher and bus driver disgusted and angered her.

"I hurt for the child incredibly. And then there was this kind of selfish part of me that wondered what would that feel like if that were my child and that kind of took it to another level where the anger was higher and the sadness was higher," she said.

Fedel has three children in Jackson County School District schools. One of them has Down syndrome. She said special needs kids are more vulnerable to abuse because many of them lack the ability to communicate what's happened to them.

"You have to watch for behavioral cues that maybe they're crying instead of wanting to go to school or they're not eating well. They're not sleeping well because they don't have the words to tell you," she said. "So watching the video, that part for me was very personal."

Though the individuals involved in the alleged abuse were fired and law enforcement was contacted, Fedel said the district dropped the ball by failing to contact another important department.

"Mississippi Department of Education stated that they never received a report from Superintendent Amacker. So for parents with students with special needs, this is unforgivable," said Fedel.

That's why Fedel started the petition on change.org calling for the school board to remove Dr. Amacker. She said there's a lack of transparency in the district.

"With it not being reported, it felt very shadowy. And that our children are not their main concern."

A rally will be held before Monday's school board meeting in front of the Jackson County School District office at 4 p.m. To read the petition started by Fedel, click HERE.

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