DATE OF INCIDENT: November 18, 2009
My granddaughter takes medication every morning at home or on the way to school. On the date of the incident I stopped to get her something to eat but forgot the drink so that she could take her medicine. Not wanting her to be late—and neither of us thinking—she placed the pills in her jacket pocket. She did not take them during the day—for reasons unknown—and at 8th period she asked the teacher if she could go to the nurse station to take her meds. The teacher refused; it was too close to the bell. My granddaughter then accidentally dropped one of the pills and the teacher asked what they were. She told her they were her prescription medication that she needed to take them then—since she had forgotten earlier. The teacher told her to place them in the trash can.
Later, the teacher removed the pills and turned them over to the principal.
The next morning, and without explanation, my granddaughter, along with her mother, were notified that she would immediately be removed from the campus and placed into DAEP.
All of the pills were prescription with one being a schedule 5 drug (DIPHENOXYLATE-ATROPINE). The Student Standard of Conduct states that it is an automatic DAEP offense and has no bearing on the student conduct record or intent of any illegal action, i.e. giving to another student. [State law instructed school districts to write in their policy that consideration would be given in all cases, including mandatory removal] She had no intention of violating the school policy.
She was enrolled in DAEP from November 23 to December 18, 2009. The principal stated that he was complying with district policy and that even though it was a 30-day DAEP offense he had met with the DAEP principal and would review her behavior after a 10-day period.
Due to her mother being visually impaired I and her grandmother assist her with the kids and while I was enrolling her in the DAEP program, I looked at some of the students who were there and discovered the reasons why they were there. It is not a place I wanted my granddaughter. I was also informed by the principal that this decision may make her an even better citizen. I understand the school policy to a point but an investigation should have been convened with me and my daughter to assist in the final outcome. I believe in safe schools but these decisions must be made in concurrence with the parents and/or guardians.
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