The classroom for Gail Coleman’s son wasn’t the right fit. Diagnosed with both ADHD and autism, he was learning little to nothing in school for months and started threatening suicide.
“Why don’t you just chop my head off and get a gun and shoot me?” Coleman recalls her son saying once.
Heartbroken, Coleman pulled her child out of the public school system in 2007 and enrolled him in a private school that caters to special education students.
Her son is now in high school, thriving socially and academically, Coleman said, but “why did we have to sue to make him a success story?”
With tuition at her son’s private school costing more $60,000 annually, she and the Montgomery County school system battled for two years over where he should be educated and who should foot the bill until an administrative law judge finally ordered the district to pay for private school.
Coleman is now one of hundreds of Maryland parents pushing a bill they say would make it easier for families to contest special education services schools provide for their children.