Special Bicycles Used by Disabled Students Stolen

MODESTO – A thief has stolen nearly all of the special three-wheel bicycles used by students with disabilities at a Modesto school.

The Modesto Bee reports a janitor discovered the theft early Monday at Sherwood Elementary School.

Eleven of the 13 bicycles were taken, including nine worth about $400 each and two designed for severely handicapped students and valued at as much as $2,500.

The Sylvan School District purchased five of the bicycles but special day class teacher Darlene Pierson and her husband bought the rest since she began teaching the class 17 years ago.

Pierson said many of her students will never be able to drive or even ride a two-wheel bicycle because of their disabilities but most them can ride the three-wheel bikes. Learning to ride them is crucial for their transportation needs as adults, Pierson said. Every Tuesday and Thursday the children would ride them for their adaptive physical education class.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Pierson said. “To have someone decide they needed them more than we did irritates me.”

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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