Lucia Mar bars teen with brain tumor from going to prom

May 10, 2016
Jared Springer

Jared Springer

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A high school senior who is battling a brain tumor and recovering from a broken hip managed to score a date, as well as a black tuxedo with a pink tie, for the Arroyo Grande High School prom. Then, about 48 hours prior to the big event, the Lucia Mar school district passed along a message that the wheelchair-bound student was not welcome at the prom.

Jared Springer, 18, could not go to prom because he had been absent from school for an extended period following a recent accident in which he fell out of his wheelchair and broke his hip. His absence from school disqualified him from attending school events, the disabled student’s father, Frank Springer, said in a Facebook post.

Lucia Mar’s director of student services informed Frank Springer of the rule during a phone call late in the day on Thursday. The Arroyo Grande prom took place Saturday night.

During the phone conversation, the district administrator said Jared Springer could only go to prom if he received clearance to attend school from a doctor and his family met with district officials to discuss logistics. That gave the Springer family one day to jump through impossible hoops, Frank Springer said in the Facebook post.

“As a parent I understand there has to be policies,” Springer wrote. “I understand the need for rules. I just don’t understand why there is no compassion or importance given to kids and families that are suffering.”

In Oct. 2014, Jared Springer suffered a stroke and brain hemorrhage, causing him to spend 20 days in a coma and five months in the ICU. He was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma brain tumor.

This year, Jared Springer returned to school for his senior year at Arroyo Grande High. About three weeks ago, he fell out of his wheel chair and broke his right hip, which required emergency surgery.

Following a 10-day rehab, doctors released the Arroyo Grande senior but instructed him not to go to school for six weeks. The doctors said it would be too painful for him to bounce around campus in the wheelchair.

During Jared Springer’s last week in rehab, all he would talk about was going to prom, his father said. His nurses cleared him to go to prom, and he was very excited about going.

But on Wednesday, one of Jared Springer’s support teachers called Frank Springer and said Jared would not be able to attend prom. Frank Springer did not receive an explanation from the district until late in the following day.

Frank Springer also said he offered to go to the prom with his son. The district’s student services director said Frank Springer could not accompany his son because he did not have a background check and a tuberculosis test. Also, the district does not let parents go to many school functions, the Lucia Mar administrator reportedly said.

On Saturday night, Jared Springer went with his date to dinner to the Madonna Inn. Their classmates were attending prom at a location down the street.

Jared Springer returned home a little mad and upset. He had been looking forward to seeing his friends, listening to music and finally having a little fun at prom, his father wrote.

The Lucia Mar District released the following statement Monday:

“In the Lucia Mar Unified School District, we believe that our work is about students and maximizing their academic and extracurricular opportunities. It saddens me to know that with improved communication one of our students may have been able to attend an event that is special for many high school seniors. We have reached out to the parents to meet and discuss this situation in person and are awaiting their availability.

“At the same time, student safety is a top priority in our District. In order to protect all our students and staff, we have specific rules about who is allowed to participate in school-sponsored events. We acknowledge that there may be ways to work within guidelines to expand opportunities for our students.

“In our decision making regarding eligibility to participate in extracurricular events Lucia Mar USD complies with all medical restrictions outlined by individual health care providers to ensure the health and safety of each child is taken into account. We make the best decisions we can, at the time, based on the information we receive from doctors.

“While this prom is now in the past, many special senior activities remain ahead. It is our intent to improve our two-way communication with the family regarding these events. We will work with the student and parents to attempt to ensure participation, whenever possible, provided the necessary medical releases are in place. It is also our intent to work with the family, apologize, learn from any mistakes, and improve our training and processes for all of our students.”


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NorthCountyGuy

The criminal-class elites of Lucia Mar should be sued into bankruptcy.


65buick

He can’t go b/c he is a threat to others’ health. Give me a break. You are sad, sad people. Enjoy your day in hell when it comes.


LAH

Sounds like a discrimination suit. SO they completely disregard the Doctors orders. He had Doctors orders! He wasn’t cutting school! So that blows that excuse out the window. Then they cry safety issue? How is Prom less safe than the school grounds? SO he was discriminated against because he was in a wheel chair?

They STOLE that from Jared, his Date and his family. One night, a lifetime of memories. Over questionable circumstances. I am disgusted over the coldness, their non human response. I am embarrassed for them. How unfortunate that we put such unthinking, uncaring people in power. Remember, they are just people! They interpret the rules just as they want. Such a sad story.

Put me on the the jury PLEASE!


nunsense

so we can go out of our way to accommodate a trans person, but we must strictly enforce these rules? sad, very sad. I’d call BS and demand to know what doctors and evidence they based this ridiculous decision on.


ruinitforeveryone

Isn’t selective discrimination fun.


Pelican1

Wait just a minute, back up the bookmobile. why is this young man being punished for something he had no control of? Lets be honest here, how many teachers and administrators have been “punished” for their ABSENCE when it comes to teaching or administering the students?????

This is disgusting as well as reprehensible.

Contact Gloria Allred’s law firm at the following:


(323) 302-4774

212-235-1781

Fax:

(323) 653-1660


hijinks

Lucia Mar Bureaucrats do honor to the notion of doofus bureaucrats. Here’s a kid who’s suffered awfully, who’s still a kid, and these clumsy bureaucratic oafs pull a stunt like this? How awful. The more they say, the more awful they sound. They have hearts of stone, and ice-water in their veins. For Shame! They should have a second senior prom, just so Jared can attend. Maybe the kids can get together and plan something Jared can participate in.


dogeatdog

Yes, there are always rules, and there are exceptions to these rules.


If that had been the admin kids he would have been at the dance NO DOUBT!


You want to cost us more money in Nov by upping our property tax, well the he!! with you I will now vote NO for the SCHOOL BOND.


2bnu4hm

Their statement is a bunch of politically correct, legalistic mumbo jumbo..they have NO HEARTS..and the fact that not ONE TEACHER stood up and said anything to the administration for this young man is appalling…..the district and teachers should be ashamed of themselves..anything they do now is TOO LATE..


kayaknut

Maybe the teachers were to busy counting their raises, or are they asking for a tax hike for them this fall? If they are asking I now know my answer, NO.


Mr. Holly

This is just another example of a person holding a position of authority who has no business being there. This is appalling to say the least. Now let’s see if the anyone of these educated people will hold anyone responsible for depriving this young man, who has done nothing wrong, of being deprived of a once in a lifetime experience.