Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Flag Pole Parents -- The Sequel
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 29, 2002

CHEAT LAKE, WEST VIRGINIA -- Deb and Jason Lewis want their 9-year-old son, Tucker, to attend his local school, Cheat Lake Elementary School, so he can be with his friends and the other children in his neighborhood.

But Monongalia County Schools says Tucker must attend Mountainview Elementary School because the one at Cheat Lake does not have the facilities, staff or equipment to educate the boy who has cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Providing what is needed for Tucker at Cheat Lake would be too expensive, district officials say. Besides, six other students with similar disabilities are already being served at Mountainview, they add.

Tucker's parents have filed a complaint against the district and are schooling him at home until the district changes its position -- or is ordered to change its position.

On Monday, October 21, advocates from West Virginia ADAPT began helping the family, staging a demonstration by chaining themselves -- some in wheelchairs -- to the school's flagpole.

Tucker's family has set up the following Web site:

The Dominion Post is covering the protest, with new articles added each day:
Oct. 22: Unflagging Support
Oct. 23: Protesters Continue Flagpole Vigil at Cheat School
Oct. 24: Cheat Protesters Still Chained to Flagpole
Oct. 25: Cheat Lake Mom Debates Flagpole Protesters
Oct. 26: Protesters Vow: We're Not Going to be Run Out
Oct. 28: Protesters Continue Vigil at Teach
Oct. 29: Parents go to court over boy's school

The demonstration is similar to that staged for three weeks in 2000 by Deanna Lesneski, just across the state line in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Known by disability rights advocates as the "Flag Pole Mom", Lesneski strapped herself and her lawn chair to the flag pole in front of Blain-Buffalo Elementary School after school officials failed to provide what they had agreed her son, Max, needed.

"Flag Pole Mom" -- Deanna Lesneski Protests To Get Appropriate Education For Son (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


©2017 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.