Girl with leukemia doing better
in school because of GLSP’s help
Mrs. Valasquez contacted Georgia Legal Services Program because she was worried about her 13-year-old daughter, a middle-schooler who had been diagnosed with leukemia. The daughter, Amada, was being bullied at school and on the school bus. Children were, among other things, pulling off her hat and laughing at her head, which was bald due to chemotherapy. A boy was harassing her daily on the bus. Amada was also being left sitting in an office during physical education, rather than being given access to a computer or other activity she could participate in. Because she was often ill or hospitalized, she also needed extra help with her academics and extra time to complete assignments. Although Mrs. Valasquez had spoken with school officials, she did not feel her concerns were being heard. She felt that Amada, because of her illness, was not getting the education she had a right to.
GLSP took her case and contacted the middle school principal, who said that a special education plan had been in place for Amada in elementary school, but a new one for middle school had not been developed. GLSP lawyers worked with the school and brought in an education specialist from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Amada was being treated for her illness. After several months of negotiation, an individual education plan (IEP) was formulated that gave Amada extra time to complete assignments, extra time to get to classes, specific help with her school work and time to rest and drink water during the day. She was also given permission to wear a hat to school to cover her bald head. School officials also addressed the bullying and helped make Amada’s time in school safer and more productive.
GLSP’s intervention in the case helped make school officials more reliably attentive to Amada’s needs. She and her mother were satisfied with the new education plan. Amada is now making good progress in school.
The clients’ names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
We are a non-profit law firm serving rural and small town Georgia.
We offer free legal services in civil cases to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We have 11 offices around the state to serve people where they live.
Our clients have “high stakes” problems, such as domestic violence, eviction or foreclosure, denial of hard-earned benefits such as unemployment, inability to get critically needed health care or food aid, and many more.
Our work is to assure that low income people have access to justice and opportunities out of poverty.
When problems occur, we help our clients secure the support they need to get back on their feet — with dignity.
When rights are denied, we help our clients seek redress and have those rights assured. Click below to see a video on GLSP made on the occasion of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Founders award ceremony.