For the Sake of Special Ed Students, Bedford Schools Needs Stoker on Board

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I am writing to support Kristine Stoker’s candidacy for the Bedford Board of Education. I’m a student with autism who graduated from Fox Lane in 2021. My experience at BCSD was horrific because I was isolated and excluded. I spoke at several board meetings during high school about my experiences and advocated for change. I remember speaking at a 2020 meeting with other special education students; board members ignored me completely, dismissed me and didn’t show me any respect or even thank me for sharing my experience.

I was nonverbal until I was eight. Going to the microphone was very intimidating for me and to be shown such disrespect and a lack of compassion from the board was upsetting. That evening Kristine Stoker validated my feelings and experiences. She showed me respect and kindness after I spoke, and from that day forward has always been a vocal and active supporter of special education students in this district.

This is what we need at BCSD. Someone with the heart and compassion, knowledge and fearless advocacy for change. Kristine has firsthand knowledge as a special education parent in the district because she also has a son with a disability. She has three children who have attended the district and has vast experience with the issues that need to be addressed immediately.

Please vote for Kristine Stoker with me on May 16. Let’s help all future special education students to have an equitable experience at BCSD.

Lauren Close
Pound Ridge

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