Robyn Flanery, parent

Good morning, and thank you for taking the time to hear our family’s story.   

My daughter attended the same school from kindergarten through seventh grade.

At school, she was the ideal student - always well behaved, eager to learn, often landing on the honor roll and incredibly talented.  

For years she has played the piano, guitar, saxophone and violin, and has been an active member of the school’s drama troupe. 

At home, she was the light of our family’s life.  

Then, everything suddenly changed – forever. 

When she entered the seventh grade, she seemed to become a totally different person.

Her behavior changed drastically over night - she had become deeply depressed.

We went to the school to meet with her teachers and the administration to ask them to help. To help us with these troubles.  

But, instead of helping us and helping her, our family felt abandoned by the school we had been a part of for so long.

Rather than treating her illness, she was punished for the most minor infractions. 

And, that started happening more and more frequently. 

It soon became clear that instead of helping us, they were punishing her for her illness.

And worse, it appeared that they were punishing her in the hope they could “unload” her so they wouldn’t have to deal with her and her illness. 

They finally had their chance and in the midst of a suspension, they expelled her.  

That expulsion broke my troubled daughter's heart and left a scar on our family forever.

This must never happen again.

No child and no family should ever have to go through something like this.

As a result of a lack of resources, training or merely a commitment to our children, my daughter and my family have suffered at the hands of the Louisiana Department of Education.