Connect with us

News

Cheerleader says she’s been sidelined by high school because of her wheelchair

Published

on

Cheerleader says she’s been sidelined by high school because of her wheelchair

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (WDAF) – A cheerleader at a Missouri high school says the athletic department is restricting her participation because of her wheelchair.

Her family said she was blocked from joining Truman High School cheerleaders on the field over fears her chair might damage the turf.

On Monday, September 21 at the Santa Fe Park Picnic Pavilion, blades of grass and tufts of clover bounced back from the wheels controlled by 18-year-old Lacy Kiper, who’s entering her second year on the Patriot cheer squad.

“It’s definitely been very challenging to find some place to feel involved because, for the most part, I’ve only ever been the only wheelchair user in my school,” Kiper said.

Kiper was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 5, so her bones break very easily.

“I had broken both of these arms and the bone wasn’t placed right, so when the new bone started to grow here, it just fused them where they were positioned,” she said, indicating bends in her forearms.

Her dad, Charles Kiper, says she was very protected up until two years ago,

“And she said, ‘I want to do cheerleading.’ I told the school I would put her on the mats if they want. I’ll be there for every game if they want. I’ll be sure that she’s got someone to assist her in any way to be a part of this team. And they have pretty much turned me down on most everything,” Charles Kiper said.

That’s the trend that the Kipers said intensified this school year. Lacy said she’s been largely ignored or made to feel like a distraction. And recently the field was used as reasoning, she said, to separate her.

“They didn’t want my wheels, I guess, to be too heavy and damage a little bit of the turf for me to get stuck in it,” Lacy Kiper said.

“But even for the basketball gym they said no. And I was like, ‘That’s a floor that I go on all the time,’” she said.

“I have provided them with three doctors notes from her lifelong orthopedic surgeon who’s done all the surgeries and have known her since she was 2 months old. And they still tell me no,” Charles Kiper said.

It’s left the family feeling frustrated.

“It irritates me especially because I’m not even being given the, ‘Hey, do you think you could?’ or the ‘Hey, this is coming up in advance — everybody else doesn’t know yet but we want to know your thoughts on how you could participate,’” Lacy Kiper said.

“Because I would love to have my ideas involved in it, too,” she said.

The Independence School District said it’s willing to talk about this case, but first it would need Lacy’s dad to sign some privacy releases. Up to now, Lacy’s dad has declined to do so. He says he fears giving up too many of his daughter’s rights.

The Independence School District released the following statement:

“A local newspaper recently published an opinion editorial with significant inaccuracies.” 

“The District cannot substantively respond to such inaccuracies without consent to release student records from the parent. In this matter, the parent chose not to sign HIPAA and FERPA releases to allow the District to respond.”  

“Without those releases, the District is limited in what it can discuss. While the Independence School District cannot respond substantively to the editorial, the District would like to reiterate that it takes the safety of all involved in our activities seriously, and remains committed to ensuring that our programs and activities are inclusive, safe, and welcoming for all students.”

google news

News

Controversial St. Louis County mask mandate back in court today

Published

on

Controversial St. Louis County mask mandate back in court today

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The controversial St. Louis County mask mandate will be back in court Thursday morning for more debate.

Lawyers for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will square off with attorneys from St. Louis County before Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo.

Schmitt filed a lawsuit alleging that the second St. Louis County mask mandate announced by County Executive Dr. Sam Page in late September violates state law. A spokesperson for Schmitt said he wants a preliminary injunction to officially stop the mandate.

The last hearing in this case happened not long after the Cole County court ruling by Judge Daniel Green. That decision says COVID-19 health orders issued by local health authorities are unconstitutional and that all existing health orders are null and void. The St. Louis County case was continued until Thursday so attorneys could review Green’s ruling.

Now, attorneys for Schmitt could come with more legal ammunition after Schmitt sent letters Tuesday to school districts and public health agencies across Missouri saying they must rescind and stop enforcing health orders like mask mandates because of Green’s decision. On Wednesday, Schmitt reached out directly to Missouri parents for help in identifying school districts that are continuing to enforce COVID-19 health orders in violation of the Cole County ruling. Schmitt wanted families to reach out to his office with information.

It’s unclear if Judge Ribaudo will make any final rulings Thursday. The hearing is set for 8:30 a.m.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic explains dominance vs. Pelicans: “I just did a lot of spins”

Published

on

Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic explains dominance vs. Pelicans: “I just did a lot of spins”

NEW ORLEANS – Nikola Jokic picked the Pelicans apart like it was NBA2K.

Though Jokic copped to playing the wildly popular NBA game, the reigning MVP said he never plays as himself.

“Anybody else,” he said with a grin after dropping 39 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Wednesday’s dramatic overtime win over New Orleans.

Jokic served up 11 points in overtime, seizing complete control of the game and overwhelming his counterpart, Jonas Valanciunas, on numerous occasions. Among his tricks, Jokic drained floaters, finished put-backs, buried open jumpers, baited defenders and deked his opponents into the ground.

“He’s just the best big,” said JaMychal Green. “He really is. He’s so skilled. It’s just crazy.”

When pushed to describe that skill, Green hammered the point in virtual terms.

“Man, I feel like 2K gotta add him in 99 everything,” Green said.

Late in the fourth quarter, Jokic pulled off a double spin move to free himself from Valanciunas’ strength and length. The deft bucket gave the Nuggets a temporary 105-103 lead before Valanciunas’ put-back tied it once again.

“What spin move?” Jokic said. “… I just did a lot of spins.”

Never one to reveal his secrets, Jokic had little to say when asked how he processes opposing defenses and decides which vulnerability to attack.

“I don’t want to tell you that,” he said wryly.

At least Green would. The veteran big – whom Jokic adores for his energy and toughness – cited a play late in the fourth quarter where Jokic flattened out their offensive set, ran a pick-and-roll and went to work. Jokic reads opposing defenses like Broncos legend Peyton Manning, only his audibles come during live sets.

“He knows what’s coming,” Green said.

As do opposing defenses, yet they seem to have little or no chance of stopping it. Nuggets coach Michael Malone left no room for interpretation when asked about their fourth-quarter offense.

“When the game is on the line, when we need a basket, the ball is going to go to him,” Malone said. “It’s no longer going to be that equal-opportunity offense.”

google news
Continue Reading

News

Column: Justin Fields is set to return against the Green Bay Packers — and the rookie quarterback is in search of a little respect for the Chicago Bears

Published

on

Column: Justin Fields is set to return after missing 2 games with cracked ribs — and the Chicago Bears and their rookie quarterback are in search of a little respect

Justin Fields has the same vibe that most Chicago Bears fans have come to experience.

They’re not getting any respect.

The only thing the rookie quarterback and the Bears (4-8) can do to change the narrative is to win some of their five remaining games, beginning Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers (9-3) at Lambeau Field.

Fields this week was medically cleared to return from three cracked ribs and will start against the Packers after being knocked out of the Nov. 21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and missing the next two games.

“I just think a lot of the times teams maybe don’t respect us or don’t give us credit,” Fields said. “I mean, you can’t blame them. We messed up sometimes in the games and we’ve pretty much messed up in a lot of games. … We’re going to attack every game like it’s our last game and we’re going to play through it all.”

The Bears are not getting much respect from the oddsmakers in Las Vegas as 12½-point underdogs, but that comes with the territory in this series. The Packers have won the last five meetings and 20 of the previous 23.

Maybe the Bears can sneak up on the Packers or other remaining opponents — the Minnesota Vikings (twice), New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks. The Bears figure to be favored only against the Giants.

“It feels good,” Fields said. “I like being the underdog. It just gives me an extra chip on my shoulder. I like when people doubt me. That just gives me a little extra motivation. So I love it.”

Being an underdog is new for Fields — he was 20-2 as the starter at Ohio State — but it’s all part of his maturation process in the NFL. The most important thing: He was cleared, meaning the Bears do not believe he’s at risk for more serious injury.

Fields said he’s still not certain when the injury occurred against the Ravens and didn’t believe it was on his final play. He said he normally wears protective padding on his midsection and will do so against the Packers.

“I’m going to have to be smart this upcoming game with not taking as many hits as I usually do,” he said.

“There’s pain there, but I mean, the pain’s just not unbearable. I know there’s going to be pain there, but it is what it is. As long as it’s just not crazy pain where I can’t bear it, I’m going to play and practice.”

Fields threw for 174 yards and a touchdown with one interception and four sacks when the Packers defeated the Bears 24-14 on Oct. 17 at Soldier Field. That started a five-game losing streak, and the organization has been in turmoil since.

The best way to calm the storm, if only temporarily, would be to stun the Packers, and the only chance the Bears have of rolling off some victories in the stretch run is getting their offense rolling.

“We really feel like he was improving as the games went by for him individually, our team, our offense,” coach Matt Nagy said. “There are still places where we can certainly improve. As a staff, we felt like we were really getting a good feel for where he was, and then he gets injured. So then for him to come back against a big division opponent and rival, I know that he’s excited for it.”

Meanwhile, Nagy was cryptic when describing a left hand injury that kept Andy Dalton out of practice Wednesday. Nagy declined to say whether Dalton suffered a broken hand, which a source said was the fear. The team plans to evaluate Dalton’s pain tolerance and possible swelling to determine if he or Nick Foles will serve as the No. 2 quarterback in Green Bay.

The Bears hope two weeks on the sideline gave Fields a different perspective that allowed him to get a slightly better feel for what to expect from opposing defenses — and maybe small elements of situational football that he can apply while he searches for the consistency that has been missing for the offense.

“I think he’s just, like most young players, you sometimes have got to go through some ups and downs and navigate your way through that,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “But he’s a very confident guy. He’s obviously very, very talented, not only as a thrower, but he’s got the added element that you can’t account for — his ability to make the off-schedule play.

“He’s more comfortable in what they’re doing. He’s a heck of a challenge to defend.”

google news
Continue Reading

Trending