As the alarm kept sounding, teachers hovered nearby and debated what to do. The school had never put together an evacuation plan for the child. Finally, a physical therapist picked up the distraught boy and carried him out in her arms.
Though it wasn’t a real emergency (a student had pulled the alarm as a prank), the event laid bare the dire situation of special needs students in a district that suffers from severe – and often self-inflicted – budget woes.
The mountain-rimmed village of Questa, just south of the Colorado border, is home to one of the worst performing districts in the state, its schools earning multiple F’s from the Public Education Department.