Arielle Rausin is a 7th grader at North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts - a public middle school in Lee County, FL. She recently tried out for and MADE the school track team. This is not surprising, since Arielle participates in many of the 5K marathons throughout the city and county, and joins her parents on regular daily runs. Arielle is a talented student athlete; Arielle is also in a wheelchair. When Arielle qualified to make the team, all of her teammates and coaches were excited and proud. Even the coaches at the opposing schools were very supportive, and thought it was great! Unfortunately, the Lee County School Board did not agree. The administration has decided that Arielle is NOT allowed to race! THAT IS DISCRIMINATION! According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings). Since track is a recreation or activity provided at NFMAA, and NFMAA is a PUBLIC school funded by GOVERNMENT money, then Arielle's RIGHT TO RACE should be protected by this act. WE THE UNDERSIGNED WANT THE LEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ALLOW ARIELLE RAUSIN TO RACE IN ALL LEE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL TRACK MEETS.
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Jordan Keen, United States7 years ago Comments: YEAH ARIELLE!! I am so excited for you! This is definitely a breach of ADA standards -- they are just jealous that they don't have as much skill as you (even though their on their feet!). I'm so proud to be able to call you "one of the fam" : ) stay strong girl!!
Janet, United States7 years ago Comments: I advise they take a closer look at the law, and retain legal representation.
James N. Rausin, United States7 years ago Comments: Aiiow participation.
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