LEICESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - The parents of a 7-year-old boy asked his school to change his bus stop. Days later, school officials tried to kick him out of the district.
Jaxson Dunn is a second-grader who is full of energy and front flips. But his parents were thrown for a loop of their own at the end of September.
“It broke my heart to know that he would be upset,” said Stephanie Peloquin, Jaxson’s mother.
Jaxson loves baseball, the Boston Bruins, and the school he’s attended since his first day of kindergarten.
“He has his friends there. He has his life there. This is some place that he feels comfortable in,” Peloquin said.
He was weeks into second grade at Leicester Elementary School when his parents called the school and asked to change his bus stop. Days later, they got a surprise call from a district official.
“She said, ‘Listen. You are on Oxford land. You have to go to Oxford schools. Your son is not part of this district,’” Peloquin said. “He does not have to leave tomorrow, but he has a few days. He needs to get out.”
At first, Peloquin thought it was a prank call. But then, she got an email which stated, “I am writing to notify you that your son’s enrollment in the Leicester Public Schools will be terminated effective Friday, October 11th.”
That was less than two weeks’ notice that Jaxson would have to transfer to another district – out of the only school he’s ever known – in the middle of the school year.
“I just kept picturing him walking around not knowing where to go because he’s seven years old! And it just got me upset,” Peloquin said.
“I cried several times just because I just knew what it would do to Jaxson,” Peloquin said.
The family’s mailing address has always been in Leicester. They pay their car excise tax to the Town of Leicester. And they’re in the Cherry Valley and Rochdale Water District, which is located in Leicester.
But the deed for their house actually says it’s located in Oxford. Jaxson’s parents said they pointed that out to Leicester school officials when they submitted a copy of the deed when they first enrolled him in kindergarten more than two years ago. They say they specifically asked if Leicester was the right district for their son.
“They went over several times, and it was like, ‘Nope. This is where you belong. You are a Leicester resident,’” Peloquin said.
But now it seems the district changed its mind.
7News reached out to the school superintendent, and she told us the district was willing to “make an exception” so Jaxson could stay with his friends for the rest of this school year. But she wouldn’t answer any other questions, and told Jaxson’s parents he can’t stay beyond that.
His parents said they’re determined to make sure he stays in Leicester schools right through to his high school graduation.
“You have to have a voice. You have to stand up for yourself and what you think is right,” Peloquin said.
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