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Mistreatment of ADHD Students Among Reasons ACLU Sues Truancy Court

A group of parents and students, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing a Rhode Island Family Court Judge and his appointees, saying they violated the constitutional rights of public school children.

The suit claims that students' medical issues were all but ignored by the court, which used arrest warrants and the threat of "state custody" to intimidate students and parents.
"The alleged abuses occurred in five school districts -- Providence, North Providence, Woonsocket, Coventry and Cumberland -- where the truancy courts had jurisdiction over more than 700 students during each of the past two school years, according to the suit." [Source: The Providence Journal]
One of the plaintiffs, a 53-year-old mother whose daughter has ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome, claims that the court repeatedly threatened to remove her daughter from the home if she continued to miss school.

The mother tried to explain that she only pulled her child if a change in her medication made her extremely disruptive in class, but the court refused to take that into consideration. A hearing date has yet to be set for the case.

Labels: schools, laws

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Parents on Trial for ADHD Child's Overdose

Rebecca Riley was diagnosed with ADHD before she turned three. In December 2006, she died. Her parents say pneumonia caused her death. Prosecutors allege that the parents are guilty of giving their child a fatal overdose of ADHD medication.

The Buffalo News reported the following about the case:
Some psychiatrists believe the case illustrates a trend of over-diagnosing young children. &

"There are some kids who need those medicines, but I think you get on a slippery slope when, rather than acknowledging that it's really tough to diagnose this in preschoolers, there's a tendency to say, 'Lets give her medication,'" said Dr. Oscar Bukstein, a child psychiatrist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
A state medical examiner has said that Rebeccas death was caused by a combination of Clonidine, Depakote, and two over-the-counter drugs  a cough suppressant and an antihistamine. The amount of Clondine alone in Rebeccas system was enough to be fatal.

The doctor who prescribed the medication says she warned Rebeccas parents about the dangers of overdose, and is scheduled to testify in the trial.

Labels: medications, laws

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Student with ADHD Sues Princeton

Diane Metcalf-Leggette has been diagnosed with four learning disabilities, including ADHD. When she applied to Princeton, she included information about her disabilities and her need for addition time on tests and exams.

However, according to an article in the school newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, Metcalfe-Leggette claims that the school is not providing her with the support to which she is entitled, so she has filed a lawsuit:
Metcalf-Leggette 13 is suing the University for refusing to grant her extended time on examinations, the New Jersey Law Journal reported. & The suit comes after a series of meetings with school officials during which Metcalf-Leggette sought accommodation for her disabilities.
The university currently accommodates her disabilities by offering her a reduced distraction testing environment, a limit of one exam per day and a 10-minute break each hour. Ms. Metcalf-Leggette has stated that she also needs additional time to complete her tests. University attorney Hannah Ross stated that the university is not required to offer extended test time if it would jeopardize the essence of a Princeton education.

The next hearing is set for Jan. 11.

Labels: laws, college

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Tennessee Parents Win ADHD Lawsuit Against School District

The Williamson County school district in Tennessee was recently ordered to pay the legal fees incurred by parents who spent three years fighting for their sons educational rights.

Writing in the Sept. 25 edition of The Tennessean Mitchell Kline provided the following details about the case:
The lawsuit hinged on whether Chase Kildgore, who is now attending college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, would receive tutoring and have an individual education plan under federal laws regulating special-education students. Chase Kildgore was diagnosed with ADHD in May 2003, before entering the seventh grade.

A year later, schools officials declared that he was not eligible for special-education services but came up with an education plan for him. ...

Then the boy was involved in a fight at Independence High School, where he admitted to striking another student. After meeting with the boy's doctor, father, teachers and counselors, school officials decided the fight was not manifested by his ADHD and therefore followed normal procedures for disciplinary action, suspending him from school and sending him to the county's Alternative Learning Center for 20 days.

Labels: schools, laws

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Law Requires Special Programs for ADHD Students

If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you should meet with an evaluation team at his school to ensure that his specific educational needs are being met:
"A multidisciplinary team consisting of the parent, a classroom teacher, special ed teachers and others will meet to determine your child's eligibility for special-ed services, and how those services will be provided. If the team decides your child does not need special ed, the process stops. If you disagree, you can appeal your case in a 'due process' hearing."
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act guarantee that children with ADHD have access to the programs they need to ensure their educational success. Source: ADDitude Magazine

Labels: schools, laws, special-needs

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