GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Parents and community members issued a petition to recall Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal after complaints surfaced about Special Education Director Laura LaMore earlier this year.
In February parents called for the director to step down from her position and submitted the petition to the Board of Education.
At a board meeting the same month, Superintendent Weatherall Neal called the petition a “smear campaign.”
In a board meeting on Monday, the community once again called for the resignation of LaMore and this time called for the resignation of Weatherall Neal.
The petition posted on change.org, it states:
“Complaints included the toxic atmosphere for teachers and staff along with the health and safety risks to the 4000 Special Education students. This represents an unprecedented level of educational complaints in GRPS history. ‘These 4000 special education kids are being betrayed, neglected, and being abused, in the sense of the lack of a proper education they should get,’ said Mike Stephens, the MEA Uni-Serv Director (Scott, 2018).
During her February 28, 2018 press conference, GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall admitted, ‘we have not been able to fully staff Emotional Impairment (EI) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) programming this year.” Despite mounting tensions, Neal persistently expresses full confidence and support for Laura LaMore, impeding majority teacher and staff requests for LaMore’s removal. Among numerous cuts to GRPS’ Special Education Programming, LaMore closed a fully functional vocational school (KVO), relocating young adult students with disabilities to a previously vacant elementary school which lacks both adult facilities and a safe environment for adults with special needs.'”
It later goes on to state that Weatherall Neal needs to step down because of her lack of response to the special education issues and for not taking the needed actions against LaMore.
So far over 280 people have signed the petition. The district has not released the date of their next board meeting.