My daughter is a high school senior and has missed 12 days in the last semester due to manic depression with bipolar tendency. She FAíd the last semester of her 11th grade year due to her depression. Her depression is extremely worse in the fall of the year, interfering with her ability to function in basic life activities. She was not diagnosed with this problem until 5 weeks before the end of the 12th grade school year. She has always made good grades up until this year. Her condition seemed to be increasing worse from the 9th grade to the 12th. Her teachers agreed to let her make up her work because of her excuse. She has 5 core classes with a lot of work to make up. There is only 1 class period she could occasionally leave to make up test in other classes. All the teachers have been supportive except one. She had talked with him the day she came back about what she needed to make up. Along with regular assign and test, within the 1st week upon returning she had made up 3 test and some of her assignments. 1 of the makeup test was in his class, She had only been on medicine for 2 weeks and continued to struggle with her depression but it was better. 1 week and 3 days after her first day back she again approached this teacher to make up an assignment in his class. He refused to let her stating she had waited too long. He did not tell her he would not accept it after a certain time. This was a big chunk of her grade. She was very upset but continued and made up a test for him. The next morning as she was making up the last test for his class, a couple of students came in, a girl sits on the row beside her and asked her what she was working on. My daughter was accused of cheating and received a zero. He admitted that he did not see her cheating but she just looked suspicious. She has never been in any kind of trouble. He has told her she was slacking and just did not care. He is refusing let her make up any work and is keeping her from graduating. She will lose her music scholarship. I pleaded with him to let her do any assign to make up the 4 points she needed to pass but he refused stating that he did not give extra work and if you missed your chance that was tough. Yesterday I had a boy to tell me that the previous year, which was also his senior year, he had failed this teacherís class but he asked him if there was anything he could do to make up work. This teacher agreed to let him make up all the work from the last half of the 9 weeks and passed him. How is this fair that a teacher would let someone with a doctors excuse fail and pass someone that didnít even have an excuse? I had talked to the principle before I knew about what the boy had told me. The principle said he will not go against teachers. I know they think she is just lazy or that she doesn't care. I really don't think they believe there is anything wrong with her. What advice can you give me.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Contqct the superintendent of the board of education and each board member and ask for a hearing.
I suggest you attempt to make an appointment with your Superintendent and advise him/her that you will be bringing in all of your daughters medical information and let them know you made the school aware of her medical diagnosis and you believe one teacher along with the principal of the school have chosen to act in what you to believe to be discrimination against your daughter due to the disability which she has been diagnosed with. Let them know you will be bringing in an advocate. This should be person who knows your child and her diagnosis. Have the central office provide you the policy on how they address your child's situation and what the practice has been. They should be prepared to discuss this upon your arrival.