January 2002 – Case opened
March 11, 2002 – Mediated agreement reached
Until June 2003 – Case monitored and closed
F.O. was a 16-year-old product of neglect of the school system, which over the years had allowed him to slowly drop from performing at the 50th percentile on standardized tests to between the first and fifth percentiles, because of unrecognized learning disabilities. More damaging, F.O.’s school district sought to expel him for behavior directly related to his diagnosed emotional problems. That is when YELP and clinic student Larisa Meisenheimer (‘03) got involved. F.O.’s learning disabilities and his emotional problems—which involved disassociation in threatening situations and were well known to the school—manifested themselves in the form of behavior problems, which became the bases for the district’s efforts to expel him.
The district would rather have washed its hands of F.O. altogether than provide the appropriate services to help him succeed within a comprehensive high school setting. With the clinic’s assistance, not only did F.O. prevail in his expulsion proceedings, but the public school district finally recognized his needs and placed him in an appropriate non-public high school at no cost to the family.