Region: Youngstown

Help Us Save Lighthouse!

Petition is directed to
Head Principal Catherine Dorbish and Austintown Township, Ohio
154 supporters
31% achieved 500 for collection target
154 supporters
31% achieved 500 for collection target
  1. Launched 29/03/2024
  2. Time remaining > 2 months
  3. Submission
  4. Dialog with recipient
  5. Decision

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The Lighthouse is a small classroom inside of Austintown Elementary School in Austintown, Ohio. It holds 7 kids and 4 teachers who have special needs. The kids have Autism, ADHD, ODD, etc. Many of them have behaviors, are minimally speaking, or non-speaking. This makes it hard for them to be in crosscat or mainstream classes. We have experienced nothing but discrimination and pushback when advocating for our kids. They were left out of the yearbook, not given the same opportunities, left out of events and forms not sent him, and stopped from having extra parent help at parties. We tried to start a support group that was not supported and forgotten about. Then, this week, we were told individually that starting next year they're removing lighthouse, the teachers, and nothing will be the same for our babies. Most of these kids can't communicate to even understand these changes. Many Autistic kids have photographic memories and remember everything. Their routine is very important and these changes will make them regress so much. Us parents have worked so hard with our kids for years and have fallen in love with these teachers. We knew that our kids would have a safe, soft place to land for a few years. Now they are trying to remove that and say it's "positive changes." Please help us save this class and the teachers!


These changes will send these kids back years and they are already delayed and behind their peers. They are saying they can't "guarantee" a room and teachers. They have done it for years and many teachers have kept the same room for years. These babies do not have voices so we really need yours!!

Thank you for your support, Stephanie Brooke from Austintown
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Why people sign

The Lighthouse program is so important and beneficial to autistic students who are unable to thrive in larger sized classrooms. The small student to teacher/parapro ratio is detrimental to their success and chances of progression. Austintown schools do NOT provide enough staff/classroom help to ensure students on an IEP get the additional help and support they need. Taking away Lighthouse is setting up autistic individuals who require more 1:1 attention for automatic failure/regression.

My daughter has ADHD and has benefited greatly from the services provided by AES. It's so important to do what we can to help kids who are neurodivergent succeed in school, and Lighthouse is an integral part of that.

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