A disabled student in Pennsylvania was told by his high school he could not participate in field day because of his disability, and now, he’s fighting back (video below).
Reports say 14-year-old Jake Wesely, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was shocked when a letter arrived at his home informing him he’d been deemed “medically exempt” from participating in his school’s field day. The letter goes on to elaborate, saying students who are exempt aren’t allowed to participate in events, have to wear a special wristband on the day, and will be disciplined if they try to participate.
“I don’t think people in wheelchairs or with any disease should be excluded from activities,” Jake said, reported CBS Philadelphia.
Jake’s parents say their son has always been an advocate for equal treatment despite his disability, so when they received the letter at their home, they knew he would take action.
“He’s always been a strong advocate for himself and for other kids with disabilities,” Keith, Jake’s father, said. “My wife and I were very upset.”
“I was heartbroken. Really. You can’t be doing it like that I mean there needs to be some kind of checks and balance,” Jake said. “When I got the letter I was pretty mad — cause I really like field day.”
Jake decided to take action by posting about the letter on social media, and quickly, word started to spread. Soon after, the school retracted the letter that had been sent to students for years and issued an apology.
“My first reaction was we made a mistake and it needs to be fixed,” Dr. Leon Poeske, administrative director at Bucks County Technical School, admitted. “I’m happy he brought it to our attention because again, we were wrong.”
The teen’s parents say they are proud of their son for speaking up.
Photo Source: Screenshots via YouTube