Mother claims Wilson Co. after-school program denied her child - WSMV News 4

Mother claims Wilson County after-school program denied her daughter

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Kelly Greer's 7-year-old daughter, Sophie, is autistic. (WSMV) Kelly Greer's 7-year-old daughter, Sophie, is autistic. (WSMV)
LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

A Wilson County mother claims the Wilson County School District denied her daughter from participating in an after-school program, so she sued them.  

Kelly Greer says it's because her daughter has autism. 

"I learned when she was probably 18, 19 months old that she was a little bit further behind on some things," she said.

Her now 7-year-old daughter, Sophie, attends Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School. She works with teachers in a special needs program. 

Greer, who is a single mother, says she wants Sophie to participate in the after-school program for several reasons, including interaction with other children. 

"It would make life easier as her mother to know that she's taken care of, no matter what," Greer said.

The lawsuit claims Wilson County Schools won't let Sophie join the after-school program, Kids Club, because she's not fully potty trained, which is common for autistic children.

Channel 4 asked the district why Sophie was being excluded.

"We have lots of kids in our Kids Club who are special needs that have different things going on, different disabilities, but there's just that line that we can't provide one-on-one care," said Jennifer Johnson with Wilson County Schools.

"It's not that hard to change a pull-up, she doesn't fight you," Greer said.

The district doesn't define one-on-one supervision and calls it case by case.

"We sympathize with her. I wish that we could provide one-on-one care, but when you're talking about a program that is self-funded, there's a point where it just becomes unfeasible to even offer it anymore," Johnson said.

Parents pay roughly $75 per week for Kids Club, which offers after-school care until 6 p.m.

Greer said she just wants her daughter to have the same opportunities as every other child.

The Office of Civil Rights forced Wilson County Schools to reword the Kids Club handbook in 2012 to specify it cannot provide one-on-one supervision. This came after the district lost a similar lawsuit involving an autistic child who was also denied from joining Kids Club.

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