Monday, November 28, 2011

Settlement with Montgomery (AL) Public Schools on Services for Kids with Mental Illness

See this press release, hot off the wires from the Bazelon Center.  It begins:
Under a settlement agreement announced today that resolves complaints filed on behalf of Montgomery families by the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP), the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and the Law Offices of Sears & Sears, PC, the Montgomery Public Schools will take significant steps to provide more effective services to students with emotional disturbance.

Under the agreement, Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) will hire a nationally-known expert in children’s mental health, Narell Joyner of Charlotte, North Carolina, to work with MPS teachers and administrative staff to evaluate how MPS identifies and plans for students with emotional disturbance, and to identify available resources MPS can access to better serve these students. Ms. Joyner will also make recommendations for how MPS might improve and fund its programs serving students with emotional disturbance, and help MPS implement her recommendations.

“There are hundreds of Montgomery students with disabilities who need some additional help to reach their academic potential and lead independent and successful lives in their communities,” stated James Tucker, legal director for ADAP, lead counsel for the parents who filed complaints against MPS. “We think Montgomery Public Schools can do an excellent job of educating these students, and Narell Joyner is just the person to help get the schools to where they need to be.”

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