A South Jersey Facebook group formed just days ago has quickly added about 1000 members in favor of allowing a seventh-grade autistic boy to stay in his home school district.

According to the mission statement of the Facebook group "Let Joseph Stay", Joe and Katie Costello are fighting the Ventnor School District's attempt to force their son Joseph to attend an out of district school. The couple say they were told that the school district didn't think they weren't equipped to handle his needs.

When I joined the Facebook group on Monday night, the Facebook thread was active with comments opposing to the Ventnor School District recommendation that Joseph be bussed to the Galloway Township School District.

Friends, family and supporters of Joseph's cause are critical of the Ventnor School District contention that they aren't capable of educating a student on the autism spectrum.

Some Facebook comments suggested that the Costello's were told Joseph didn't have any friends at Ventnor Community School and that he would find the Galloway Township's School District better suited to his needs.

Reactions to way this situation has been handled brought comments filled with shock and anger on the "Let Joseph Stay" Facebook page...

This makes me more than sad, it makes me angry and also Joseph has no friends, why not? It seems as if the school system isn’t accepting him , so of course leading by example why would the students?


This is absolutely disgraceful. As a special education teacher of 20 years, there is no truth or well being behind any of their motives. Children belong in their own hometown school. I work in a district that has out of district placed students and there is no benefit in my opinion.


My children went to the Ventnor school system at a time when if there was a problem they would solve it, not pass it on to another district.


I literally want to throw up reading this! This is an absolute disgrace! I know you will keep fighting and I will be praying and sending lots of love your way for justice for Joseph! This is insane!

The Costello's say they are still hopeful that the Ventnor BOE will respond to their  concerns about Joseph.

If officials with the Ventnor School Board have a plan for ensuring Joseph gets the education he's entitled to and a good reason why he couldn't get that education in Ventnor, supporters of the "Let Joseph Stay" Facebook page want them to make that clear to his family now.

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