May
6

Give Tyler His Senior Year

By Rob Warner  //  Uncategorized  //  4 Comments

Tyler Anderson is a boy I’ve known most of his life. When he was an infant, an aneurysm burst in his brain, and he had to fight for his life. Now, he is fighting for something most people are freely given: a senior year of high school. You can read more here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-Tyler-His-Senior-Year/560967097269111?hc_location=stream

Here’s the email I sent to Mason Davis (davisw2@duvalschools.org) and Jason Fischer (fischerj@duvalschools.org).

I have known Tyler Anderson since he was an infant. I was in the hospital with him the night the aneurysm burst in his brain. I watched his parents face his near-certain death. I saw the stitching on his head, after his operation, that made his head look like some grotesque, over-stuffed softball. I couldn’t imagine much hope for him.

I’ve also seen Tyler defy the odds, ignore his death-prognosis, and grow up. I’ve seen him fight for life. I’ve seen him learn social mores, adjust, and progress. Here’s a young man living on half a brain, and he continues to learn. He reads. He writes. He converses. He integrates with normal society. I’ve spent time in his home. He’s been at my children’s birthday parties. I’m a youth leader at church, and he’s there at Sunday services, at youth activities, and at scouting activities. He socializes with the other youth. He socializes with adults. He socializes with younger children. He leads the music as he sing hymns as a men’s group. He listens. He contributes. He BELONGS.

Most times that people write letters to express views, they swerve toward hyperbole to make their points. I’m not doing that, because I don’t need to. Tyler, and I’ve said this many times before, is as kind to others as we all wish we were. He is the kindest person I know. He is hilarious. He is enthusiastic. He loves others, and it shows. He knows he is loved, and that shows as well. Everyone that knows him secretly thinks he or she is Tyler’s best friend, because Tyler makes them feel this way. He is conscientious and he learns and progresses. He always adds more than he takes away, and I mean that. Any situation I’ve ever been in is better with Tyler in it.

You can see some of the love felt for Tyler on this page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-Tyler-His-Senior-Year/560967097269111?hc_location=stream

Tyler isn’t some problem to be dealt with, shuffled off and away from normal society. Tyler should not be robbed of his senior year. He will make better use of that year than many other seniors, and those around him will be enriched for the experience of a year with Tyler.

Many other people are being caught in this same battle–students with special needs who are being ripped from their schools and pushed to a special school for, as I understand it, hardcore special-needs cases. The niece of a woman I work with is also being shoved aside, being returned to an experience that before was abusive. I have heard, but not confirmed, that Tyler and the rest have been caught in a numbers game: they’re trying to improve graduation rates in Duval county, so suddenly creating a mass of graduates boosts the numbers considerably. I don’t know if this is true, but it makes sense that it is. And it’s deplorable. 

Tyler’s parents, Blaine and Shelley Anderson, are amazing advocates who work tirelessly for Tyler. He needs more advocates and fewer people discriminating against him. Please take a moment to like the Facebook page. If you feel so inclined, send an email in support of Tyler. Tyler deserves it.

4 Comments to “Give Tyler His Senior Year”

  • Rob, great articles. Sherry probably told you that my friend, John Owens and I will be acting as legal advocates for Tyler. I am interested in hearing from any other parent of a child this is happening to as well. Please tell your co-worker to contact me.

    • Yes, thank you! I have passed your information on to my coworker.

    • Rachel you will be hearing from us. I can’t tell you how much this means to us! Thank you!

      • Thanks so much for sharing this!!

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