Chicago Sun Times - Schools held autistic boy 'hostage': judges

Schools held autistic boy 'hostage': judges
​July 15, 2007

​BY TIM WALDORF Naperville Sun
​Two judges have said Naperville School District
​203 held an autistic student "hostage" to
​"blackmail" his parents into agreeing to its
​plans for his education.
​Killian Hynes, a nonverbal, autistic 6-year-old
​Naperville boy, communicates using a device known
​as a Tango. It's as important to Killian as a
​wheelchair to a child with a physical disability,
​said his father, Kevin Hynes, 43.
​That's why the Hyneses took legal action when
​Naperville School District 203 withheld Killian's
​communication device.
​"I know my rights, and I know my son's rights,"
​said Kevin, a lawyer, as is his wife, Beth, 44.
​Judges who recently ruled on the case had harsh
​words for District 203. Federal Judge Milton
​Shadur asked District 203 the same question posed
​to notorious U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954:
​"Have you no shame?"
​The Tango was an agreed-upon provision in
​Killian's individual education plan with District
​The 6-year-old was bored and regressing at
​Summitt School Early Learning Center in Elgin,
​Kevin said. So they made arrangements to send him
​to a more expensive but more technologically
​advanced Carol Stream program.
​District 203 administrators agreed Killian wasn't
​getting what he needed at Summit but expressed
​concerns about the costs of the Carol Stream
​Then when Killian's summer IEP was set to begin,
​District 203 administrators told him he couldn't
​have his Tango.
​District 203's legal counsel, Laura Sinars,
​indicated the only way the district would provide
​Killian the device was if the Hyneses agreed to
​send him to a program the district preferred.
​"That's coercion," Kevin said.
​Judges agreed.
​Shadur said, "The undisputed picture here is
​regrettably one of the defendants holding, I
​guess, a 6-year-old autistic boy hostage," Shadur
​said, sending the case to DuPage County Circuit
​Court for trial. There, Judge Bonnie Wheaton
​ruled District 203 was to immediately provide the

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​© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group

Posted on 07/18/2007 at 02:57:23

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