Death of disabled 11-year-old boy leads to FCAT opt-out bill

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The death of an 11-year-old boy has led to a new state bill that would allow severely disabled students to skip the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Ethan Rediske's parents were upset after being forced to prove their son was dying just so he could skip the test.

"There's nothing to describe it. When you know your child is going to do die and you're sitting next to his bed watching and waiting for those last few breaths," mother Andrea Rediske said.

Ethan Rediske, 11, died on February 7. He was the severely disabled boy whose parents were required to prove to the Orange County School District he was dying so he could keep his medical waiver in order to skip the FCAT.

"Nobody should have to do that, nobody should have to sit there with their child on their deathbed, worrying about paperwork," Andrea Rediske said.

Andrea Rediske was outraged and made a vow to try to change state law so severely disabled students like Ethan could get a full FCAT exemption. Now Florida state Rep. Karen Castor Dentel has filed a bill called the Ethan Rediske Act.

"I don't want anyone else to have to go through this," Andrea Rediske said.

The bill that was filed would include a "waiver of assessment results for certain students with disabilities." Andrea Rediske supports the bill and plans to rally to have it passed in Ethan's honor.

"I just said to myself, 'We have to fight this. We have to keep fighting, and I will keep fighting,'" Andrea Rediske said.