Hulsey files for school board against David Brady |

Hulsey files for school board against David Brady

by Merrie Leininger

Veronica Hulsey says her experience as a board member on the Carson City Center for Independent Living and as a mother of a child in special education in the district would be an asset to her on the school board.

Hulsey, 33, who filed on May 15 to run against incumbent David Brady for the area one seat, is married to John Tomasevic. The couple works together in their own small business making tents and teepees. They live on Stephanie Lane with their three children, Alex, 11, Kassandra, 6, and Jonathan, 10.

Jonathan has cerebral palsy and Hulsey said she has battled with the school district constantly over Jonathan’s education and his treatment. She said the school district uses threats of child abuse against parents and has taken away many parental rights.

Hulsey charges Jonathan’s teachers have turned her in to the family services department for neglect, and so she did some research.

“Douglas County turns in more children in unsubstantiated child abuse cases than any other district. Things like that need to change. Finding child abuse is important, but they are using it as a weapon against parents,” Hulsey said. “I found out they were strip-searching him every day, so I started talking to social workers about it. You can say I was forced to have an interest in it.”

Hulsey, who grew up in the district and has lived in the area for most of her life, said she has learned a lot by being on the assisted living board.

“I know how a board should function and how the processes go. I believe the community should have more belief in their board than they do right now. I’m hoping to change the way the board is acting right now,” she said.

The school board should be more open-minded, Hulsey said.

“They really need to sit down and talk with the teachers. Mediation is the best. You have to meet someone in the middle. I don’t expect someone to come all the way over to my side, and I don’t expect to go all the way over to their side,” she said.

Hulsey said she would like to give parents more options, especially in special education.

She said her son benefited from a program called conductive education.

“It gave him his self-esteem back. He had pretty much written off his right hand. He is using his right hand more and he decided to sit in a manual chair (rather than an electric wheelchair),” Hulsey said.

However, when she tried to introduce the conductive education program into Jonathan’s day in the classroom, she said she was met with resistance and is currently going through a due process with the school district over the issue.

“It teaches children and adults with disabilities how to become more aware of problem-solving and making their bodies more aware of themselves. When that neurological pathway is cut, you have to train other pathways and find different ways to problem-solve,” she said.

Hulsey wrote and was awarded a grant to put on a seminar about conductive education because she said she believes strongly in the program.

“It is something that has helped Jonathan and so it is something I believe he should have access to,” she said. “The problem I’m facing is the school district wants to be right all the time. I’m willing to learn. Not everything you try are you going to succeed at. I’ve heard so many people complain about the school board. I believe I can offer my knowledge I’ve learned on the assisted living board and being a parent of a disabled child. Douglas County is in for a change.”