Calcasieu student testifies he was penalized for opting out of s - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu student testifies he was penalized for opting out of state testing

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

At just 11 years old Conner Long testified in front the House Education Committee in support of a bill that would prohibit discrimination and penalties against students who opt out of state testing.

End of the year state assessments are optional for students. While school systems encourage everyone to take the exams, parents do have the choice of whether their student tests or not. 

One family feels their son was limited because he opted out, and Thursday they testified in Baton Rouge in support of House Bill 536. 

"Hi, my name is Conner Long and I support HB 536," he said at the House Education Committee meeting. 

Conner told his story of what happened after he opted out of state testing.

"He was all excited that he could run for student council officer, but we received a letter on September 9 saying he couldn't run for student council officer because he didn't score basic level on student assessments," explain Conner's mom Elizabeth Long.

She says she opted him out of the test because of medical issues and didn't want Conner to stress over the exam. Long never expected it would limit his extra curricular activities. 

"He's a 3.75 GPA student," she told the committee, "He's in BETA."

House Bill 536 was written to prohibit schools from penalizing students who opt out of the test, and also ask districts to accommodate students who don't take the test putting them in another room or library. Currently, the Calcasieu Parish School Board keeps those not taking the exam in the testing room, allowing them to "quietly read a library book during the testing time."

"Sit there, read a book, or go to sleep," Conner's lists his options during testing week.

The main opponent of the bill, Executive Director of the Louisiana School Boards Association Scott Richard, cited staffing issues as the reason those opting out aren't separated during the test. 

However, regarding Conner's story, Richard said, "I think some bad decisions were made on the local level on this one."

Richard says he spoke with Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus about the student council requirements.

"He indicated that at the time their policy and practice regarding student council nominations was the real issue and that's probably something they should take a look at," said Richard in the committee meeting.

Members of the committee agreed. 

"I think what happened to the little boy was asinine," said Rep. Chris Broadwater (R-Hammond).

The bill was voluntarily deferred by its author Rep. Vincent Pierre (D-Lafayette). Instead, KPLC is told a House Resolution may be written to ensure no student opting out is penalized.

The Long family calls it a win.

"It only takes one voice to make a difference, and when it comes to the House Education Committee it was a child's voice," said Long.

Click here to watch the House Education Committee meeting.

Copyright KPLC 2017. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • CPSO: Man arrested for sexual battery

    CPSO: Man arrested for sexual battery

    Monday, June 26 2017 5:57 PM EDT2017-06-26 21:57:02 GMT
    (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)(Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

    An Arizona man has been arrested at a local casino on the charges of sexual battery, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said.

    More >>

    An Arizona man has been arrested at a local casino on the charges of sexual battery, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Typical summer weather pattern through the rest of this week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Typical summer weather pattern through the rest of this week

    Monday, June 26 2017 4:49 PM EDT2017-06-26 20:49:09 GMT
    Stalled front dissipates TuesdayStalled front dissipates Tuesday

    A stalled frontal boundary brought slightly drier air to areas north of I-10 Sunday into Monday, but the front is washing out and the humidity will return Tuesday.  This also means we will return to a more typical summertime weather pattern for the remainder of this week.  Expect warm temperatures with scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms each day. Showers and thunderstorms were located mostly along and south of I-10 Monday due the stalled frontal boundary...

    More >>

    A stalled frontal boundary brought slightly drier air to areas north of I-10 Sunday into Monday, but the front is washing out and the humidity will return Tuesday.  This also means we will return to a more typical summertime weather pattern for the remainder of this week.  Expect warm temperatures with scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms each day. Showers and thunderstorms were located mostly along and south of I-10 Monday due the stalled frontal boundary...

    More >>
  • DeRidder Honorary Street dedication coming for hit-and-run victim

    DeRidder Honorary Street dedication coming for hit-and-run victim

    Monday, June 26 2017 10:06 AM EDT2017-06-26 14:06:20 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    Last October Staff Sergeant Donisha Stroman was in Lake Charles when she was killed in a hit and run incident. The person who killed her still hasn't been found, but Donisha's family is working hard to make sure her memory lives on in the Southwest Louisiana community forever.  “I knew how much she loved this street," said Donisha's mother, Sandra McCoy. "Being an Army recruiter, she actually recruited on this street, she rode her little moped bike on this street...

    More >>

    Last October Staff Sergeant Donisha Stroman was in Lake Charles when she was killed in a hit and run incident. The person who killed her still hasn't been found, but Donisha's family is working hard to make sure her memory lives on in the Southwest Louisiana community forever.  “I knew how much she loved this street," said Donisha's mother, Sandra McCoy. "Being an Army recruiter, she actually recruited on this street, she rode her little moped bike on this street...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly