Legal Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Legal Question
2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 1:31am
My son's best friend was just "kicked" out of a private for-profit elementary school for hitting a girl that was making fun of him because he has to take medication for ADD. How the children knew he was on medication is beyond me! Why the teachers let this go on also troubles me! It breaks my heart because the sweet boy now thinks he is a "bad" kid. His family is also hurt. Does anyone know if this school has violated his rights under the American with Disabilities Act. There are just two weeks of school remaining and they just flat kicked him out. They have also threatened his mother to not recommend him for the next grade (even though he has excellent grades in school). This is just not right. A child like this should not have to suffer like this. Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mom_w_2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 6:30am
Unfortunately, I think that private schools probably are able to establish their own set of rules and regulations, and although they probably have guidelines to follow, since they are a private organization, they are not regulated to the same extent as a public institution. They are able to be more selective in the students they allow in their school, and probably are able to dismiss those that don't meet their 'standards' more easily than public schools. I would think that upon enrollment, your friend was given a copy of all the rules and outline of disciplinary measure that they follow, and she should dig up those papers ... find out if this is outlined, if any accomodations are made for children with special needs. Problem is, however, that most private schools are not as accomodating of kids with such needs. Because they are more rigid in their enrollment processes, they 'weed out' problems from the outset ... so they generally don't have the staff to work with children who may need extra help or attention. Public schools, because they have such a diverse student population, tend to be better equipped in that area.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, and I would certainly suggest a call to one for some guidance ... but my guess is that they didn't break any 'laws' ... but legal action and being 'fair' are always interchangable. The fact that the boy reacted to be taunted is sort of 'natural' and perhaps should have been dealt with differently. The fact that there are only 2 weeks left in the school year should have pushed the school to find a different solution. The fact that it takes TWO for such an encounter should have been taken into consideration ... did the little girl get any type of consequence for her actions? Probably not! And, that's wrong, too. I think the school could have been a little more tolerant based on all facts involved ... especially if this was a first offense ... and given him a consequence, but allowed him to finish out the school year. The threat of holding him back a grade is where the legal action may come into play ... If he's met all requirements for promotion, then the school has no right to even suggest holding him back.

Nancy

Nancy 

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Avatar for kimbie5
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mom_w_2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 9:24am
I think your friend really has little to go on legally. Private schools are not bound to the IDEA laws for children with disabilities. And unless they were stupid enough to say to the kid or parents "we are kicking you out due to your ADD disability" I doubt you could prove ADA. This is exceedingly unfair though. The real question is how was the child that teased him in the first place disciplined? If her treatment was also harsh it may be they are just running a very tight ship. However, if she was not punished I would suggest your friends goes to whomever is in charge of the place. Even though they are a private school they may have a governing board of some type. No doubt the school is very guilty of lack of sympathy for a child dealing with ADD.

Kim