Case of M.E.

M.E. was a 3rd grade student with attention difficulties that often led to inappropriately physical behavior in school. When his mother contacted YELP for assistance, M.E. was out of school on his second suspension of the year (for a playful but overly physical altercation with another student), pending a possible expulsion. M.E.’s mother believed that school personnel had labeled M.E. as a troublemaker, and were singling him out for disciplinary action. YELP students Allysun Atwater (’11) and Aaron Nissen (’11) counseled M.E.’s mother about her priorities for M.E.’s education relative to school placement options, and generated a plan for reintegrating M.E. at his original school site.

They represented M.E. and his mother at the disciplinary hearing pending M.E.’s return to school, where they convinced the district and school representatives to: (a) apologize for their due process failures – which cost M.E. several days of school; (b) reassure M.E.’s mother of their commitment to M.E.’s education and recognition of his disability; (c) administer a behavioral assessment of M.E.’s problematic behavior in order to generate positive interventions for school personnel; and (d) create a plan – including assignment to a new class – for M.E.’s successful return to school. As a result, M.E. enjoyed his new class and the school district completed the behavioral assessment to further assess M.E.’s service and placement options.