Students stand up for their classmates after special needs program changes

- Students said they’re using social media to try to stop the phasing out of a special needs program at Randolph Middle School. But a CMS board member said the plan these students are fighting is good for exceptional students.

"We're trying to be a voice for those who don't have the ability to speak," said Trent Lose, an eighth grader at Randolph Middle.

Trent and Mabry Sumner said they’re trying to convince CMS to keep the special academic curriculum at their school.

Related: CMS Special Education Changes: Parents meet with CMS leaders Thursday

"At Randolph we have so many resources and we have peer buddies. We talk to them, hang out with them. It helps them and it helps us," said Sumner.

They started an Instagram account called 'Keep Randolph SAC' which stands for special academic curriculum. It launched on Saturday and already has close to 400 followers.

"We have a choice. We get to go to a magnet school. We get to get into the lottery. Now, they're not giving these kids the opportunity to do that anymore and that's not right," said Sumner.

FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with Eric Davis - a member of the CMS board of education - who supports the superintendent's plan.

"The plan does create the opportunity for future exceptional middle school children to attend an equally excellent program at a school closer to their home," said Davis.

He said it's important to note that the new plan will not impact current students at Randolph Middle or Phillip O. Berry - both magnet schools.

"The superintendent's plan will not create a change for any current Randoph Middle School child. Every child will have the opportunity to finish at Randolph through the eighth grade."

FOX 46 Charlotte told Davis about the students' Instagram account and he said,"They have terrific pride in a terrific program - both the IB program and the SAC program - but they're not the only school program with an excellent program. Not too far away Alexander Graham Middle School is an example of a home school with a wonderful SAC program with parents, teachers, and principal who care for our exceptional students."

CLICK HERE to see the students’ Instagram account.

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