The February 2017, Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools Supreme Court ruling appears to indicate that if a child is prescribed a Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Service (TSS, MT or BSC in Pennsylvania) by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts in any State which is funded by the EPSDT mandate of the Medicaid Act, then the parents of that child can bring a suit in Federal court, bypassing the “FAPE” court that schools offer and get a ruling as to whether or not the school can bar the entry of a trained mental health professional on their premises, whether or not they claim to already employ comparably skilled, trained or supervised people on-site to do the same tasks. If the parents win, their lawyer can collect “attorney’s fees.” This balancing of the scales in the education of children with disabilities is long overdue. Parents no longer have to ask permission from education authorities to bring their complaints about the denial of their child’s access to mental health treatment services to Federal court authorities!
This ruling, described in the SCOTUS blog by Amy Howe has terrific implications for all of the children who need honest mental health treatment professionals beside them in school in order to address their mental illness symptoms NOT to get a “free, appropriate public education.” It is now possible for parents to go to the Court Room without having to ask permission to leave the Class Room.
Amy’s analysis is here.
Making information about EPDST funded mental health treatment for children more widely available to children is the focus of The Issachar Project. This short video explains the essentials of EPSDT funding for the treatment of mental illness symptoms in children.