Is this even legal????

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2003
Is this even legal????
4
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 5:30pm
My 5-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD a little over a year ago. He went to kindergarten at a private Christian school where his teacher was very loving and understanding of his needs. I have had nothing but great support from his school. This summer, I was going to place him in a summer program offered by our town's public elementary school while I attended summer classes. The children have to complete kindergarten, which Mason has and they take children through middle school grades. There were many field trips involved. Three days a week the children go to the local pool. Twice in the summer they would drive an hour to a water park. And there was going to be four trips an hour away to various other places. When I enrolled my son, I told the lady in charge that Mason has been diagnosed with ADHD and that he is on medication for it and doing very well. I wanted to be assured that the teachers would know this and be sure and watch him on the field trips, because we all know our ADHD kids can be very unpredictable and impulsive. I could have fallen over when she told me that "if he has that, then if there is any problem with him we will not allow him to go on the field trips". I cannot believe that! Of course, he is not going there and I spoke to the principal who assured me that he would talk to the lady. I called her again to request a refund for my enrollment fee and I told her that I did not feel that he would be adequately watched and that if he showed any signs of ADHD then the school would refuse to let him participate. She never said a word....not I did not mean it to sound like that or anything. So, when she told me that my check was a the superintendant's office and they would be the ones handling it, I called them and told them the situation. The receptionist was very nice but said she believed it was an isolated event which I don't agree with. That kind of attitude is not something that a person displays one time. Obviously there would be no tolerance or understanding and I know that he would be labeled as a troublemaker when really he is just a very curious little boy that you have to watch because he will do things that you don't even think about!! Anyway, the receptionist told me she would tell the superintendant and that he or the assistant superintendant would call me and discuss the matter. I have not heard from them at all in a week!!! It is not that I am seeking a lawsuit against the school. Mason will NOT ever go there and I do want my money back, but I am just appalled that this is happening. How many other children with ADHD are in their program and are being kept from participating because they might run off when they see something that gets their attention? It makes me sick! But my question is... is this not illegal????? Shouldn't Section 504 protect my son and other children in the program? Should I just drop it since my son will never go to that school or their summer program? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 5:52pm
It doesn't sound legal to me. And I would personally push the issue because they need to be taught a lesson (or at least that woman does) that you don't discriminate against a child due to a learning disability/or diagnosis.
Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 12:03am
Send a certified letter to the superintendent & the board telling them what happened. Sight IDEA (individuals with disabilities act). If htis program was funded by the school system,hence federal funds, they can't isolate your sn because of his disability. Sometimes it doesn't even pay to tell the daycare the DX, just put in the paperwork the meds he is taking. I feel they looked for problems with my son, then if he had any minor problem they suspended him from the afterschool program. Wonder how many other kids they are treating this way at that program?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:28am
If it's not illegal, it should be! I'm not very familiar with 504 or the different education special services, but it sounds like discrimination to me. Would they refuse to take a wheelchair-bound child, for example, or a child with epilepsy?

As the others have said I'd send a certified letter to those in charge, maybe include some literature on ADHD, perhaps suggest that they seek advice on the legality of this practice, in order to avoid future lawsuits. It might go far to educating those who are ignorant of ADHD, for the benefit of other ADHD kids in their program. From the response of those you talked to, I'd be surprised if they really do bring it to the superintendent or asst superintendent's notice.

Let us know what happens ---

Melissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 9:52am
Thanks so much for everyone's responses! I think it is a great idea to send a letter to the superintendant along with information on ADHD. I will be working on that tonight.

BTW, my son went to his old preschool yesterday (the ones that have taken such great care of him for 2 years and did not want him to be involved with the summer program at all after I told them what was said) Anyway, Mason had sooooo much fun! He did not want to come home! And since he is one of the older ones there, the teachers were very pleased to see him helping the younger students yesterday! The school is for 3 through 6 year olds so Mason almost being 6 is one of the oldest, and the teachers said he took an interest in helping the other students yesterday. Now THIS will be good for his self-esteem!! Imagine the damage that would have been done at our public school's summer program!

Again, thanks everyone!!!