by: Christy Turner, Action News Jax Updated:
Action News Jax investigates reports of elevator issues at Terry Parker High School that parents claim is making it difficult for disabled or wheelchair-bound students to get to class.
Amber O’Dwyer said her daughter, who’s in 11th grade, recently got surgery on her foot and is in a wheelchair.
She said since the beginning of the school year, the elevators have been in-and-out of service and her daughter hasn’t been able to get to her classroom on the second floor.
“The first day of school the elevator didn't work, so I had to take her home,” O’Dwyer said.
She said her daughter has also had to hop up and slide down the stairs just to get to class.
“I don't want to see her have to drag her butt up the stairs,” O’Dwyer said. “It's ridiculous to have to do that.”
O’Dwyer said this past Friday was her last straw. She claimed her daughter was directed to sit in the library instead, but the school said they were not aware of that.
“It’s not fair to my daughter. She shouldn't have to sit in the library, try to teach herself because they can't figure out the elevators,” O’Dwyer said.
We reached out to Duval County Public Schools and was told the elevators were upgraded over the summer and were never technically “broken” or “inoperable.”
A spokesperson for DCPS said there were a total of five reports for the elevators to be serviced, and maintenance was able to resolve the issue on the same day that it was reported.
According to the statement, the issue arose because the elevators needed to be reset when the fire alarm was activated.
DCPS said not all staff were aware of how to properly reset the elevators, but they have since been trained.
In the statement, DCPS said they “regret any inconvenience this has caused.”
As a result, O’Dwyer said her daughter has missed multiple days of school and that’s now affecting her grades.
The school said its working with the student to get her caught up on her schoolwork.
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