Last week, DRC staff went to the Hazen School District in response to complaints about the unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the school’s “classroom” for students with developmental disabilities in grades K -8. Consistent with the complaints, DRC staff found that students with developmental disabilities had been moved to a house across the road from the Hazen schools more than a year ago. The house was dirty, in disrepair and lacked basic safety protections, including adequate means of ingress and egress for students in wheelchairs. The yard and property around the house was in a similarly poor and unsafe condition, including open sewer pipes and rusty nails on old pieces of wood in the yard. Below are some photos of the conditions found at this “special education classroom” for these students.
Although the District has moved the students from this site to the old school cafeteria across the road in the last few days after direction from the Arkansas Department of Education, the new classroom continues to trouble parents, including a lack of hot water and privacy for students who need assistance with toileting needs and unsafe locks on the door. DRC intends to continue to monitor this situation to ensure that students with developmental disabilities in the District are provided with a safe, sanitary, accessible and appropriate classroom.
Below are some photos of the conditions in the house.