Mother of Special Needs Student Upset Over Oakland High School's Principal Not Allowing the Special Olympic Students to Walk in the Homecoming Parade (With Interview)

Oct 28, 2023 at 12:33 am by WGNS News

Scroll down to read our article or click the first PLAY button below to hear the interview.

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN – A junior at Oakland High School has been bothered by a decision to exclude him and at least 25 of his peers at an October 13th event. That event was the schools annual homecoming parade and special needs students were not allowed to participate in the homecoming parade, even though the students are proud to be athletes with the Special Olympics.


Angela Cotter told us about her son's excitement to be in the OHS Homecoming Parade and that his excitement had been building for well over a week...

After her son Ryan and other students in the special education class lined up to be in the parade, they were told they would not not be allowed to participate in it... Cotter said that Oakland High Principal John Marshall wouldn't allow any special needs students to be in the parade, out of what she suggested was an unrealistic fear...

Ryan has been raised to know he's capable of doing anything he puts his mind to and his aspirations should never be cut short... However, when someone in a position of authority or leadership makes a child feel as if they are embarrassed of them - it can quickly shatter any aspirations that child may have had...

While the negative feelings that Ryan experienced were a tough pill to swallow, his mom didn't dwell on them and instead - - reminded him of how he can do anything he puts his mind to. One example of that is how he plays ball at Murfreesboro's Miracle Field... And remember, Angela Cotter's son is not only legally blind, but he also suffers from cerebral palsy, which is a disability that affects his ability to control his muscles.

Ryan's mother told WGNS that the teachers at Oakland are amazing... Mrs. Cotter believes the issues are due to decisions made by Principal Marshall...WGNS will continue to follow developments in this story.

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