Parents Concerned Over Possible New Students in Jim Thorpe Area

PENN FOREST TOWNSHIP — A school district in Carbon County could soon be getting a group of new students, but some parents in the Jim Thorpe Area School District are not happy.

“I believe every child deserves an education, but if this goes through I will pull my three children out,” said Christine Baldwin, a parent in the district.

She recently found out that young adults from Camp Adams Juvenile Center may be integrated into the district`s classrooms.

Camp Adams houses non-violent and low-risk offenders in Penn Forest Township.

Baldwin has a child with autism and doesn’t want to removed her from the district, but said she’s concerned for her child’s safety.

“She’s doing what shes supposed to be doing and taking her out of that environment would be detrimental to her,” said the mother of three.

As a parent of a special needs student, Baldwin said she understands that the kids from Camp Adams require special attention.

“They do need help, but I don`t think where we are at is the proper place for them,” said Baldwin.

State Representative Doyle Heffley held a meeting in Carbon County on Sunday for the parents from the Jim Thorpe Area who had questions about this possible integration.

He said, bottom line, every student deserves and education.

“We`re using state dollars to work with these students and give them that second chance at life and the education they need to go out and be productive and live a happy life,” said Heffley.

In an email to Newswatch 16, Youth Services Agency, which runs Camp Adams, said “We simply cannot continue our on-site school at half the amount spent on the average (Jim Thorpe Area) student. “

As of now, the school district and the Youth Services Agency are in negotiations.

“There has been nothing set in stone,” said Heffley.

“I don`t want to be judgmental, but I also want to protect my children first, as far as I’m concerned, I’m a mama bear and will protect my children regardless,” said Baldwin.

The Jim Thorpe Area school board plans to hold a meeting regarding this issue at the district’s high school on Monday night at 6pm.

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