Protesters: Save DPS school that serves special needs kids - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Protesters: Save DPS school that serves special needs kids

Posted: Updated:
Protesters rally in support of saving Oakman Elementary in Detroit. Protesters rally in support of saving Oakman Elementary in Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

There was a last ditch effort Wednesday to save Oakman Elementary and Orthopedic School, a Detroit public school that services a high number of disabled and special needs children.

Last month, DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts announced a plan to close or consolidate 28 Detroit schools. That number was later reduced to four, but Oakman remained on the list.

"We prayed in blood, sweat and tears to have a school that would address our students with the kind of needs that these students have. We're not going to just walk away after all the money that's been poured into this school," said Sandra Hines.

DPS says most Oakman students, special and general education, will transfer to Noble Elementary School, which is 1.4 miles away. A smaller group of third to fifth graders considered physically or health impaired will be relocated to Henderson Academy, which is 2.5 miles away. Transportation will be provided based on district policy.

Angry student and parent protesters marched from Oakman to Noble, the same walk the kids will take next school year past abandoned houses and poorly constructed roads.

A spokesman for Detroit Public Schools said enrollment is down 50 percent at Oakman since 2009. The building needs flooring and bathroom repairs, and mechanical and security upgrades would cost the district more than $900,000.

In a statement, a spokesman for DPS said, "Operating buildings like this does not help to achieve our end goal of providing quality education to all of our students because it pulls limited resources away from the classroom. Relocating the Oakman students to two better facilities will allow the district to better utilize its resources for improving educational equality."

DPS has assigned special care agents to assist parents in the consolidation process, including helping to match children with special needs programs already in place at Noble and Henderson. Both schools are prepared to make renovations to accommodate new students.

Detroit Schools told us they are working to keep as many teachers as possible, but some could be laid off because of declining enrollment across the district. Any teachers laid off would be eligible for rehire when a position opens.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:44:11 GMT
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
  • All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:56:12 GMT
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:15:04 GMT
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices