In second grade, Roman was severely bullied, was placed on Home/Hospital Instruction (one-to-one instruction provided at the home or hospital by the school district) and placed him on many medications. The bullying continued for more than five years. My husband Roland and I tried repeatedly to work with school personnel, but the bullying did not stop, and Roman suffered both emotionally and educationally.
When Roman was eight years old, we sought the help of an advocate, Christopher Russell with Advocates on Behalf of Children, who knew our parental rights and helped us undertake the long and arduous battle to get Roman the services he needed. By then, Roman had very low self-esteem and did not have much to look forward to. Finally, in January 2014, just weeks before he turned 12 years old, Roman transferred to Frostig School in Pasadena, with district-provided transportation to and from our home.
At the new school, Roman acclimated very well. During the summer, he stopped taking all antidepressant medications, and when school started in August, he was a happy boy. We had our old Roman back, and he was making good progress, both academically and socially. He even had a girlfriend. The Frostig teachers said he was thriving, cheerful and more content than ever.
Daily Bulletin Story
"I'm not an ordinary kid, sometimes I mess up."
On December 26, 2014, Roman was the happiest boy in town. He shared with his friends and family that he got everything he wanted for Christmas, including an electric scooter. He told us he wanted to ride his scooter down the street to the dam, and he would be back soon. Roman left the house and was struck by a speeding and inattentive driver right in front of our house.
A neighbor boy and his parents heard the accident and called 911. The boy recognized that it was Roman with his new scooter, and hurried to our house to tell us about the accident. We immediately ran out, and firemen already were working on Roman. The only things I got to say to Roman was “Mommy is here” and “I love you.” His father touched his arm as he lay in the road and said that he loved him and he was going to be okay. Roman was life-flighted to Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, but he died in the helicopter within an hour after the accident.
As parents, our lives are shattered and our hearts are broken forever. He was the love of our lives. We fought to get help for Roman from the time he was a baby, and we want his legacy to live on by helping other children who struggle in school academically and who are bullied. Parents often do not know their children’s rights for appropriate schooling. Sometimes schools and school districts do not inform parents about available educational opportunities, and schools continue to place children with unique needs in regular programs and just pass them along.
It feels like yesterday when Roman passed away, but our passion is stronger than ever to turn Roman’s tragedy into something wonderful for others by “paying it forward” through
a non-profit organization we created, called The Roman Fund.
Its purpose is two-fold:
2.) Provide financial support for children who need it. For us, our advocate Chris was an angel sent from God to help Roman, and we want him to be that for your child, also.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE DONATION TODAY!
P.O. Box 1616
Upland, CA 91785
1.) Help families find an advocate to inform them about their child’s rights to an education that meets his/her unique needs.
The Roman Fund is a 501, (C3 Non-Profit Organization.) Tax ID: #47-3964005
Roman Alexander Martinez, a bright young boy was diagnosed
with ADHD and an anxiety disorder at a very young age. In addition, Roman had hearing problems, which were later corrected with tympanostomy tubes inserted inside his ears, and speech issues.
He also had difficulties with comprehension, making it hard for him
to express himself. He started struggling in the first and second grade, as the school material became more challenging.
Roman Alexander Martinez
1.24.02 - 12.26.14
909-731-5557 or 909-518-2909