Ex-Allderdice student sues Pittsburgh schools claiming the district failed her after illness
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A former Pittsburgh Allderdice High School student sued the district Sunday, alleging that after she fell ill, the district failed to educate her, derailing a promising academic career.
The student, identified by the initials K.K. in the complaint, swam, rowed, ran cross country, and studied advanced chemistry, math, Japanese and Chinese, according to the complaint attorney Jeffery J. Ruder filed in U.S. District Court. In her junior year, she developed a severe stomach problem that kept her home for months, it said.
The student wanted to keep up her studies, but the district only gave her 2.5 hours a week of in-home teaching by "an instructor unqualified to provide instruction in all academic course[s]," according to the complaint.
When she returned to school, despite failing to fully recover, the student was given a tutoring plan but the teachers didn't implement it, according to the complaint.
The student, according to the complaint, became so anxious that she stopped going to class and retreated to the school library for three weeks, at the end of which time the school notified the parents of that behavior. With parental help, the student finished her course work and graduated a few weeks late, and was accepted into college.
But her anxiety continued and she withdrew from college on medical leave.
By inadequately educating the student during her medical crisis, the district violated the Rehabilitation Act and should pay for tutoring, pay compensation and be ordered not to limit home instruction for students who need it, according to the complaint.
A district spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
According to the complaint, a hearing officer at a due process hearing found that the school was "careless" but did not act with "deliberate indifference."
The family seeks to overturn that finding.
First Published November 5, 2012 9:39 am