Jailed Chesterfield parent advocate speaks out after day in court

Jailed Chesterfield parent advocate speaks out after day in court

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Parent advocate Kandise Lucas was arrested several times for allegedly trespassing on school property in Chesterfield. She just had her day in court, and some are calling the results of victory for all parents of children with special needs.

18-year-old Meadowbrook High School student Richard, who has special needs, was at the center of the issue. His mom said he regressed while at Meadowbrook. Lucas, his advocate, was arrested four times over the span of six months. She has now been cleared of all charges.

"It's a victory for parents with special needs children," said attorney Joe Morrissey. "God bless them ... it's a victory for the little guy who says I'm not going to quit. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to stand up for my rights. It was the quintessential David taking on Goliath"

School leaders say Lucas was arrested because she has been banned since 2011. She is accused of recording Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and refusing to hand over the audio to the school. Despite that supposed ban, Lucas says she was given school issued passes for similar meetings multiple times.

"There was no motive other than to help the parent of a special needs child, which made it all the more egregious and shocking that the case would be brought against her in the first place," Morrissey said.

Lucas helped Richard's family craft a complaint that led to a federal investigation being launched into allegations of mistreatment of Richard. Lucas said the fight is not over.

"Oh no. I won't be done until I'm under the ground, and even then, I'm sure people will still hear my voice," Lucas said.

Chesterfield school leaders did not respond to a request for comment.

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