Residential Behavioral Center To Send Students To Local Schools

(Photo by Matt Howerton)
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BELTON (October 9, 2012)-Cedar Crest Hospital & RTC will send 24 students to Belton schools after ending its contract with a charter school, which provided instruction on the treatment center campus, Cedar Crest CEO Ingrid Whipple confirmed Tuesday.

The students will be bussed from Cedar Crest to Belton schools, Assistant Superintendent Charla Trejo said.

The district has hired appropriate staff for the students from the hospital and will continue to address their educational needs, Trejo said.

Former Teacher, Anjee Locklin, says Belton ISD is doing their part.

"I think special needs kids deserve as much education as they can possibly get," Locklin said.

Locklin used to teach special needs students with behavioral problems at Belton High School.

"They may never actually make it to what we call 'the norm' for certain age levels, but they deserve just as much attention and education as our regular children do," Locklin said.

Many in the community are aware of Belton ISD integrating behavioral students from Cedar Crest.

So should Belton ISD parents be worried?

"I am concerned about it as a parent and I would be looking into it, but not in a bad retrospect," Locklin said.

"All these families of these children are wanting just as much as we want for our kids. To be educated, and to be cared for."

The decision about whether the arrangement is temporary or for the long-term rests with the hospital.

In the meantime, Belton ISD will provide education. It's something Locklin says the students at Cedar Crest deserve most.

"If we can't give it to them, I don't know who else will," Locklin said.

Cedar Crest provides residential treatment for children, adolescents and adults with a range of needs including behavioral problems.