Students in need of help not getting it, complaint says

April 8, 2013 3:03:19 PM PDT
5 year old Jayden Davis has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

He was enrolled in full day kindergarten classes at PS 270, but his status changed after day one.

"There was a little instance, he had made a joke and that was it. The second day, there was another instance where he was playing with his shoe laces with another child," his mother explained.

And on day three, the school told her that Jayden would be cut back from a full day to half days.

Jayden is one of 20 students from across the city, in grades K through 12, named as being in need of help in an official complaint filed with the state Department of Education.

"The schools were not providing the appropriate behavioral supports," Rebecca Shore said.

Shore is an attorney for Advocates for Children, which has filed the complaint. The group points out that as student suspensions for last school year totaled 69,643. Disabled students suspended made up more than 32 per cent of that number, even though disabled students are only 12 per cent of the citywide student population.

"They're being disciplined for, in some cases, behavior they can't control or they don't have support for," she said.

The Department of Education says it "?works to ensure that all of our students, including students with disabilities, are supported socially, emotionally, and academically. We use a range of approaches, including interventions when needed, to address behavior issues."

Meanwhile, Jayden may be held back in kindergarten.

"He would progress to first grade with the appropriate services," his mom said.

No word from the state on the status of the complaint.