Claims “I didn’t know” I Kicked Out Disabled Students!
July 14, 2019 — Tim Kennedy– a Democratic Senator from Western New York – voted YES to repealing the religious exemption to vaccination. This resulted in children being kicked out of all public and private schools in New York immediately; including severely disabled children that have extensive educational programs.
Constituents have been trying to meet with Senator Kennedy since January, however he never once granted them a meeting! When constituents recently confronted him at a Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Concert, Senator Kennedy claimed he wasn’t aware that the bill he voted to become a law resulted in thousands of disabled children being kicked out of all New York Schools.
Wasn’t aware!? – THESE ARE THE PEOPLE RUNNING OUR STATE?!?
Rita Palma and Dr. Larry Palevsky met with Senator Kennedy’s Chief of Staff (COS) just days before the repeal bill was voted on. According to Rita Palma, Kennedy’s COS was completely inattentive as they spoke about the repeal bill and spent the majority of the time on his phone instead of listening to Palma and Palevsky.
Here is the account of what happened as written by one of Senator Kennedy’s constituents who was part of a group who confronted him:
We went to a Sen. Tim Kennedy sponsored event (also endorsed by Crystal Peoples-Stokes). There were 4 of us with 400 flyers to pass out- the venue was in an old train station in the city of Buffalo- all day music / vendor event ending with Sen. Kennedy introducing the Buffalo Philharmonic (BPO) at the end. We began talking to people outside the venue, handing out flyers. Then we went inside where we handed more out, we posted them on the bathrooms, entrances. Then we took the rest of the flyers and canvased the cars. It was 7:10pm- our inner shy selves wanted to go home, but we knew we had to go back inside to see Kennedy before he introduced the BPO.
We went right up front- we were in 15 feet of him, we waited, my heart raced. We knew we had to talk to him. We took the leap – I approached him and kindly said “Sen. Kennedy, so nice to meet you- I’m…..” he immediately engaged in friendly conversation and then I brought up that he voted in favor of S2294 (the bill that repealed the religious exemption to vaccination) – he was the ONLY WNY (Western New York) senator to vote in favor and even Crystal Peoples-Stokes voted against it.
We totally caught him off guard, he said this wasn’t the forum to discuss this and we could get a meeting. I said- we’ve been trying to get a meeting w/ you since January, we were in Albany twice. What are you going to do about the children with IEPs/ disabilities? He said- well it signed, it’s the law now. He was not aware of issues with IEPs / disabilities. (emphasis added)
Went back and forth. His community director took my card and said she would call to schedule a meeting, etc. We stood there standing and watching- he was uncomfortable- he was waiting to introduce the BPO. After his introduction- we were still there- looking- he came back up to us and said, please schedule a meeting- I’m very sympathetic and if this affects you directly- I can see what I can do. Lesson learned: don’t be fearful- got do it. We just wish we had BIG ASS signs UP FRONT. Here is a pre-jitter photo of (name withheld).
Everybody needs to confront their Albany Reps just like this – be bold, BE BRAVE! We need to hold these people accountable for what they have so thoughtlessly done.
***Update — After this terrible law was passed a disabled boy named Ameer Hamideh – whose family lives in Kennedy’s district – was kicked out of school because of Kennedy’s vote. When Ameer’s father went to speak to Kennedy about this at a public event Kennedy ran out the back door. Complete coward! Thankfully Ameer is back in school today after a major legal victory in New York court. Learn more about Ameer here.
***Find more disgraceful Albany, NY politicians who voted to kick children out of school because of their parents religious beliefs here:
My Rep Kicks Disabled Children Out of Public School: https://thefedupdemocrat.home.blog/2019/07/06/my-rep-kicked-disabled-children-out-of-public-school/