The 13-year-old’s great aunt complained her nephew was victim to disability discrimination after the ”lonely” boy was devastated after he was barred from his high-school dance
One family demanded an apology after a cancer-stricken 13-year-old son was denied entrance to his school dance, excited to see his friends after feeling isolated through his brutal chemotherapy treatment.
Kierra Bates demanded an apology from her son, Kingston Evans’, school after he was banned from his school’s dance after the doctor issued a note stating it would be “good for his mental health” for the teen to see his friends.
From South County, Kingston’s powerful chemotherapy drugs caused him to have mouth ulcers after he was diagnosed with the cancer T-cell leukemia. Then, it was discovered that Kingston also suffered from a genetic abnormality called Philadelphia Chromosome, when two chromosomes break and trade pieces, in November 2023.
Kingston said that the principal’s decision for him to be barred from his high school’s event devastated him after he was forced to be homeschooled until March due to his treatment. His mother said: “It’s hard to watch him battle this. no one wants to see their child sick. He found out his school was having a dance and he was hoping to go.”
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Kiera said Kingston’s doctors had encouraged her son to go, so he bought a ticket. On January 26, the day of the dance, Bates said the principal at Hazelwood North Middle decided Kingston would not be allowed in.
Kiera said: “I even drove up to the school in the rain with my daughter and the principal refused to let me in, look at his doctor’s note stating it would be good for his mental health for him to attend. She was just like no. if you can’t attend the school the day of the dance you can’t come.”
Kiera faced with breaking the news to her son, was also severely disappointed. She said: “I called him and told him. He was at home getting ready. He was crying. He is a teenager, he doesn’t show his emotions much. But this really broke him down. Now he can’t feel normal for one night.”
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First Alert 4 reported that Hazelwood District’s Guidebook contained zero policy pertaining to not allowing people like Kingston to attend school dances. Kingston’s Great Aunt Adonis Cox said: “That was discrimination, that was disability discrimination is exactly what it is. I asked for an apology. Not via text, email, and not a letter. In person to Kierra and to Kingston. That has yet been done.”
Director of Communications and Public Relations Jordyn Elston emailed the following statement to First4: “We approach all student matters with the highest level of importance and sensitivity, and that is certainly the case in this situation. Due to confidentiality, the district is unable to address individual student or staff-related concerns directly. We are exploring ways to work together and maintain ongoing communication with the family. Plans are in progress to work together on ways to support our student and family.”
The family told First Alert 4 the Hazelwood district offered to host another dance for Kingston, but the family declined. Kiera and Adonis reiterated that they want an in-person apology and then focus on getting Kingston home and back to school.