[socialObu shorturl="http://ow.ly/Eqi7V" hashtags="TBI"]One drinking and driving accident changed Crystal Morales's life, and education, forever.[/socialObu]
A 'Re-do?'According to the Daily Pilot, Morales is charging administrators and teachers within the Newport-Mesa Unified School District with rushing her toward graduation in order to end their obligation to educate her. She has opened a lawsuit against the district, asking the judge to invalidate her diploma and essentially force the district to “provide a redo” for the last few months of her education after the injury.On their side, school district officials say Morales was given accommodations for meeting school requirements on account of her injury, based on the “sound discretion of school personnel.” Further, they say that they discussed Morales’ educational needs regularly with Gloria Morales, Crystal’s mother, as soon as she returned to school. Her mother, they say, declined their offer of a special education assessment — it was Gloria Morales, they say, who pushed for graduation.
"[Morales] mother was adamant that she wanted [Morales] to graduate with a high school diploma, and did not want [Morales] assessed for special education," said a response the school district filed in court.Gloria Morales contends that Crystal’s personality underwent a huge change after the brain injury, and that she returned her to school as early as possible in hopes of pulling Crystal out of the depression she was experiencing. She also wanted Crystal to be able to cross the graduation stage with all her friends, like any high school senior hopes to do.
"Knowing what I know now, I would have never returned her to campus for the reason that we did," Gloria Morales told the Los Angeles Times.
Sent to College UnpreparedOnce Crystal graduated in 2010, she enrolled in classes designed for students with brain injuries at Coastline Community College. But the ease with which she had passed her last year of high school left her unprepared for normal classes. Gloria Morales says now that Crystal didn’t realize what her limitations would be. After failing most of her first semester classes, Crystal asked to leave the community college program.As of now, Crystal is not seeking any financial damages. She is simply asking for the opportunity to get the education she did not receive. In the words of her attorney:
“Public education is guaranteed to all children, and that’s not a piece of paper. It’s the right to learn. All she wants is that basic education so she can go out and make a life for herself.”