9-year-old girl with anxiety says ECOT got her away from school bullies, now family is scrambling

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 19, 2018

ECOT, the largest online school in Ohio, abruptly shut down Thursday night after a battling with the state for several years and going bankrupt.

Now the fate of 12,000 students across the state hangs in the balance.

RELATED: Why did ECOT have to close? Ohio senator says they didn't follow the rules

"ECOT helped me to be a lot more better and I created my own book and it was fabulous," 9-year-old Nina told News 5 on Friday. 

The 3rd grader has spent the last two years in ECOT. Her mom Laura Hanrahan calls it a Godsend.

"My daughter Nina she has a 504 plan, eyesight issues, also anxiety issues, PTSD," said Hanrahan.

In addition to getting the special attention Hanrahan says her daughter desperately needs, she's also away from school bullies

"Somebody tried to steal my glasses and break them and people just tried to be really rude to me," Nina recalled.

Now Nina's future is unclear.

"I just feel so lost, I feel upset cause I'm losing my favorite teacher. Her name is Mrs. Young," she said.

The family is checking out other online schooling options now, but since its part way through the school year, there is no guarantee any spots will be open.

"I don't want her in a brick and mortar school, I don't want her in a public school system and I feel like my rights and my choices are being taken away in that aspect," she said. 

Hanrahan has a son who also goes to ECOT. He's a senior now and the family is worried about his credits transferring properly to a traditional school. He doesn't want to start over, so they are strongly considering having him take the GED instead.