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      Talk about senseless crime: handicapped children victims

      UPDATED: July 8 at 9:45 a.m.

      We have recieved several requests on how you can help! So we called to find out. The principal was shocked to hear you wanted to donate.

      The communicators are made specifically for each child and cost $8,000. Any donation will help.

      Make checks payable to:

      Mississippi Valley School PTO312 Munger Ln.Hannibal, MO 63401In the memo line write: Comm boards.


      UPDATED: July 8 at 6:15 a.m.

      Shortly after the theft of the communication boards, there was another break-in at the Mississippi Valley State School for the severely disabled.

      This time the thief stole a stereo and some other equipment the children use in their therapy.


      Crime of any kind is heinous. Some crimes, for their sheer senselessness, make you want to hurl. Case in point: some cretin recently broke into the Mississippi Valley State School and swiped two communication boards.

      It TMs so frustrating because they TMve just deprived two children of their only means of communication, said Connie Billings, the school TMs principal.

      The Mississippi Valley State School serves severely disabled children. The staff there works with students to enrich their lives. In this case, two students who cannot talk recently started working with the communication boards . The devices are individually programmed for the needs of the child.

      Both of these children were doing so very well with these boards, Billings told me. There were starting to make vocal sounds. Now they can TMt communicate at all.

      That TMs the worst of it, but here TMs the senseless part: these boards cannot be of any use to anyone else. They are specifically designed for each child. The thief didn TMt steal the charger or any accompanying equipment. Most likely the thief thought it was some fancy iPad or other high-tech gadget. Each communicator will cost $8,000 to replace.

      Some way or another, we TMll find a way to replace them, Billings said, with frustration evident in her voice; because while these boards are worthless to the person who stole them, they make all the difference in the world to two handicapped children who can TMt communicate without them.

      Take care ~Sarah D.