Special Needs Student Forced To Remove A Varsity Letter After Other Parents Complained [Video]
Michael Kelley is a student at Wichita East High School who has Down Syndrome and Autism, but that hasn't stopped him from pursuing his love for basketball.
In fact, the only thing that has really slowed down Michael is another parent who complained after he sported a varsity letter on his jacket.
His conditions obviously prevent him from playing varsity sports for his school, but Kelley did join a special needs basketball team at his school. His parents noticed how happy playing ball for his school made him, so they bought him a jacket and letter to wear. This is where things get ugly.
Another parent complained that Kelley shouldn't be wearing a varsity letter, since he did not earn a varsity letter in the same fashion that the other kids at his school did. Kelley was not allowed to wear his jacket or letter during school anymore.
KSN asked the principal if the school ever considered giving varsity letters to special needs kids, and his response was clear.
We have considered it, and our decision was no. We decided that is not appropriate in our situation because it is not a varsity level competition
Since this story broke, there has been an outpouring of support for Michael Kelley, with many wondering what they can do to help.
There is an online petition hosted by change.org that is asking that all special needs students get the opportunity to earn a varsity letter. Click on the bar below to sign that petition.
There is also a hashtag on social media that you can use, #GiveThemLetters
Finally, if you would like to help out with the league that Michael plays in, you can mail them at:
Miracle League of Wichita Kansas
ATTN: Michael Kelley
PO Box 624
Andover, KS 67002
Keep in mind that there are many Miracle League's around Michigan as well that could always use volunteers and supporters.