'Keithbot' allows homebound Kennard ISD student to attend class from living room

KENNARD, TX (KTRE) - An injury that left one Kennard student unable to walk, isn't keeping him out of the classroom.   Exactly a week ago, 15-year-old Keith Griffin was hurt at basketball game, but with the help of a robot, he won't miss any time in school.

Friday, Griffin maneuvered his way through the halls of Kennard High School from his living room.

"We're able to put him back into the classroom just like any other student," said Kip Robins, the technology programs manager.

Just last week, the sophomore was taking shots at his high school basketball game.

"I was going up for a layup, and somebody tripped me and clothes-lined me, and at the same time, I fell straight on my knees," Griffin said.

As a result, he wound up with two broken legs.

But that hasn't stopped him from attending classes with the help of a robot.

"It's the child sitting there; it's no longer a piece of plastic," Robins said.

The program is called Morgan's Angels founded by the Region 6 Education Service Center 15 months ago. It enables home bound students to get back into the classroom, instead of spending just four hours a week with a teacher at home.

"It makes me feel lucky because all the people at there that use it like people with cancer and other illnesses," Griffin said.

While Griffin is at home in recovery, "Keithbot" attends his classes and stays connected with his classmates.

"He has the option of actually clicking those lights, and that's how Keith would raise his hand."

Keith's mom, Tamiko, said basketball is in his blood, but he's also ranked third in his class. She says having "Keithbot" will keep him from falling behind.

"Keith is very, very strong minded and he has goals and ambitions and we are just trying to do our best to help him accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish."

And with the help of technology, he's not letting anything hold him back.

Griffin's estimated recovery time is four to six weeks, and he is able to keep the robot until he's fully recovered.

The region six education service center has 14 robots so far they have been able to help 14 students. The robot is free for the students to use, the school district just has to go through an application process to see if their students qualify.

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