Is Laura Linder’s son Chris being pushed out of Thomas Stone High School?
It seems that way. Charles County school officials did not honor several credits the transfer student earned in Yuba City, Calif., where he was a 12th-grader. He is 18, but Maryland says he is still in 10th grade. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has difficulty with math and science. But he does not qualify for full learning disability services.
Linder says Charles County Schools Superintendent James Richmond and other officials have suggested that Chris go back to California. That sounds harsh, but consider the context. Even smart educators like Richmond are at the mercy of a national movement to raise academic standards and graduation rates. The effort contradicts itself and is often at odds with educators’ instincts and students’ circumstances. Chris is a prime example.
Linder and her son moved to Waldorf last summer. Neither anticipated that the move would threaten his desire to get a high school diploma. He had fallen far behind in California when, Linder says, he was hospitalized four times for having suicidal thoughts. He also spent two months in juvenile hall for graffiti violations.