Parents Angered After Child was Denied Access to School Because of Epilepsy, School and Church Apologize
The Frutos family and their three year old daughter were all ready for her first day at St. Stephen's Nursery School this past week. However, when they took their daughter to the school they were met with an unpleasant surprise.
"We get there and there's no classroom for her, nobody knows what's going on," Tiffany Frutos said.
According to the family, when they inquired they were told that the school could not accommodate their daughter because she had epilepsy. It's a condition that affects 1 out of 26 people in their lifetime. Angered by the news, the family turned to social media to express their displeasure. A Facebook post received hundreds of reactions, mostly in support of the Frutos family.
Rev. Sean Rowe, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania apologized to the family by phone. He also sent a letter to Erie News Now stating that "I was heartbroken when I learned that a nursery school in our diocese had decided to exclude a child based on the medical attention she might require." He went further to say, " I am also working to determine exactly how this hurtful misjudgment occurred and what steps need to be taken to ensure that nothing like this happens again."
The leader St. Stephen's Episcopal Church also apologized, saying in a letter to parents and Erie News Now, "earlier this week, we told the parents of a child with a medical issue that we could not accommodate their child as a student at St. Stephen's. This was a significant error in judgment, for which I take full responsibility, and I am sorry."
Tiffany says she has no plans to allow her daughter to return to St. Stephen's but she hopes others can take a lesson from her family's ordeal.
"Speak out, don't back down, if I wouldn't have mentioned this to anybody this would've still been going on," Frutos said.
Letters from Rev. Sean Rowe and Rev. Shawn Clerkin can be viewed below.