Watch CBS News

Long Island Family Concerned After Twins Split Up In School District's Pre-K Lottery System

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island family is worried about the ramifications of sending one of their twins to all day pre-kindergarten, but not the other.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported, Lucas and Logan Steffenson seem like they're joined at the hip. The identical twins from Brentwood do everything together.

Next month, both will begin pre-k, but Logan will be at Southwest's morning program in Bay Shore and Lucas was picked in a lottery for the coveted all day pre-k slot at Shepherd's Gate in Brentwood.

"Very frustrated and sometimes angry with the school district that one child is going to get a better education -- a better start to their education," said mom Nicole Steffenson. "I don't feel that it's right that they separate my twins."

The Steffensons, alums of the Brentwood School District, asked officials to reconsider.

"They don't have to be in the same classroom. We would like them to be in the same program in the same school," said dad Ryan Steffenson.

The parents worry about ramifications of separating Lucas and Logan.

"Lucas will have the opportunity for Spanish and art and music, and I don't know what Logan will be getting at this 2 1/2 hour program," said Nicole.

"It is going to be more of a problem for them because he is going to be more advanced," said Ryan.

Dr. Marla Johnston, of Farmingdale State College, said there can be advantages to separating twins: each can gain independence, hone social skills, and there could be less vying for attention.

But drawbacks can be significant, anxiety producing for 4-year-olds who see it as unfair, Dr. Johnston said.

"They're not even being offered the same educational opportunity, which can create a sense of competition, a sense of comparison that could be unhealthy," Dr. Johnston said.

"What am I gonna tell him? 'Your brother's going off to school. You won't be on the bus with him?'" said Nicole

"We are paying for it with our tax dollars," said Ryan

The district said as one of the largest in the state, it is difficult to make exceptions. It said there are multiple sets of twins and triplets in the district and the lottery system is fair.

Logan is now 19th on the full day pre-k wait list.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.