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Parents Complain Over EPISD Sign Language Interpreters

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 12:29pm

EL PASO — The El Paso Independent School board heard loudly from some disappointed parents and students on the frustration over the quality of teaching for the city's deaf students.

When News Channel 9 met Terry Mayers Tuesday, she was driving towards Burges High school to pick up her son. Mark Mayers is deaf and like other deaf students in the El Paso area, he attends classes at Burges that include hearing students. To fill in the gaps, EPISD provides interpreters and sign language specialists. Mayers and apparently other parents feel those services are falling short. She decided to attend one of her sons classes at Burges and believes the sign language teacher couldn't communate well with her deaf students

"I realized that she did not understand what the kids wee signing to her, she was still going back to look for signs in the book, to me she is not someone who is qualified and she should have an interpreter in the class," Mayers said.

At Tuesday night's board meeting, a man named Charles Johnson was waiting for his turn to speak. He supports what Terry Mayers said. He went through the deaf learning program at Burges, says many of the interpreters did a poor job, and when it came his time, he had the loudest voice in the room.

"You have set deaf students to fail," he said. "The message of an education system is to meet a diversity of students and empower them to be usefeul member sof the community and you have failed."

He believes EPISD has failed many deaf students but Johnson himself has done well. He just got his education degree from UTEP and is going to be a teacher.

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