I’m the face behind the screen. The face to The Ohio Department of Education that seems to not exist. Or maybe I am only a dollar sign. I’m the face that believes in school choice. I’m the face that believes in the right choice. But most importantly, I am one of the many faces of ECOT. It was the October of 2008, I had just begun second grade in a public school when my mom had the idea of me enrolling in ECOT. I have a latex allergy that made my school days awful. Sense latex is in gym mats, pencil erasers, balloons and more, there wouldn’t be a day I could go to school without being sick. My mom tried to separate me by using my own supplies but being surrounded with so much latex – it was impossible. So, she spoke to the principal who said “We cannot accommodate for one student” We proposed the idea of using latex- free products but it got nowhere. Along with other incidents, I was denied in my own traditional school. Where I was turned away, ECOT welcomed me. ECOT welcomes every student regardless of their history. ECOT opens arms and creates the ability for students who never thought they could learn – to learn. My brother graduated in 2006 after another case of his public school failing him. He was bullied by not only the students, but by his teachers. He would’ve never walked across the graduation stage a year earlier of when he was supposed to if it weren’t for ECOT.
I have two other siblings that are currently enrolled into ECOT. One that was bullied by kindergarten and first grade peers and of-course they did not take action.
ECOT creates opportunities that to some students would have never been possible. I know that I would not be where I am in ECOT in another school. I have gotten the honor roll with distinction many times, accepted to attend a leadership seminar and more. As well, ECOT introduced me to where I can receive micro-scholarships and ECOT offers free college credit. ECOT encourages me to push myself, my teachers help me whenever I need it and have been beyond amazing.
They inspire me to learn and to achieve the most I can, they give me the resources I need if I want to further my education and they make sure that I am learning to the best of my extent. I have waited patiently to receive a hard-earned ECOT diploma. But with recent events, and following my graduation plan, this will not be possible. With bias, negative and inaccurate news articles and rumors spreading, the hatred for ECOT continues to grow and I am going to be forced to finish my education elsewhere. If we were able to attend public school, wouldn’t we already be there? But with that hatred, I believe the support is doubled. So many people become misinformed and assume things and refuse to educate their-selves nor research the facts. I believe the Ohio Department of Education has done ECOT very wrong. ECOT is being held responsible for the students who weren’t logging in and became truant. Where in a public school, the parents would be the one to blame, ECOT is taking the fall. As well as The Ohio Department of Education supposedly changing the rules and if I am correct they asked ECOT to provide past hours that they did not have because simply – they did not have them.
For those who believe ECOT is isolated or consider it anything less than a “real school” you are wrong. You have socialization and ECOT is real. ECOT is fueled off your motivation and effort. For the bad apples that are negative, why are you with us if you can get a better education somewhere else?
I run a Facebook group of with over 600 members and growing of our ECOT family and I have met so many students that have turned into my friends.
I have had numerous people tell me that what I was doing wasn’t going to change anything. I explain to them that movements, petitions and support is what change is made from. I ask them to read about our historical figures and how they created change using their words. I have had numerous people tell me inaccurate information and argue with me even when they are proven wrong. I have had numerous people tell me to give up. I can say I have dealt with angry people and even been as far as threatened. This does not stop me nor will I allow it. I will stand beside of ECOT even if I am the last student. You have my promise that I am here until the end. I will continue to remain positive, optimistic and hopeful.
I want to thank ECOT for everything they have done for me, the field trips they’ve let me experience, and everything they have provided for me to get the most out of my education. Imagining a world without a school that cares so much about each and every student, is heart breaking.
We as students, parents and staff will continue to stand up against The Ohio Department of Education, The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, Governor John Kasich, the representatives, and anyone else we need too. Because our school has always supported us. We will fight to keep our school open, because the experience I have had with ECOT I believe every student deserves the chance to have. I ask of everyone to continue their support, send emails and make phone calls. We will be heard.
11th grader at ECOT.
ECOT is currently involved in a legal action with the Ohio Department of Education. The department is moving to limit school choice by ripping funding away from ECOT and other eschools based on selective and retroactive enforcement of absurd attendance rules.
We need your help. Please Take Action Now to support school choice and ECOT in Ohio.
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