Case of Ariana R.*
Sabrina Forte ('14) and Ariel Green ('14) represented Ariana R.,* a 14-year-old student with multiple mental health diagnoses, including major depressive disorder. Ariana was placed in a county special education program following a string of more than ten psychiatric placements.
Despite her obvious mental health needs, Ariana's placement failed to keep her safe or provide her with adequate therapeutic services. By the time YELP received Ariana's case, she had missed over 115 days of school. Ariana had left campus many times when she was upset; she had almost been hit by a car after running out into the street outside her classroom.
Ariana's mother sought YELP's help to change Ariana's school placement. Sabrina and Ariel conducted extensive factual investigation and represented Ariana and her family at an Individualized Education Program meeting to negotiate with her school district. As a result of Sabrina and Ariel's advocacy, the school district offered a new placement at a private school specially designed for youth with significant mental health needs. Ariana has already begun attending her new school and will receive intensive therapeutic services throughout her entire school day so she can be safe and learn.
*Names changed to protect client confidentiality.