PETERSBURG – A Riverton woman is suing Grant County Board of Education for state code violations after it wrongfully filed truancy charges against her.
In 2007, Chelsea Day was diagnosed with uncontrolled diabetes, which drastically affects her physical, mental and cognitive functions, according to a complaint filed in Grant Circuit Court.
Day claims beginning that year, she was placed on a 504 Accommodation Plan, which is designed to assist a student with special needs while attending school.
During the 2014-2015 school year, Day was a senior at Petersburg High School and Grant County Board of Education attempted to eliminate many of the accommodations and requirements contained within Day's accommodation plan and attempted to limit her plan, according to the suit.
Day claims in the fall, she was absent from school on many occasions because of her diabetes and in December, she voluntarily met with Paula Weese, the assistant principal, in which she and her father explained the absences were a result of her condition and Weese excused the absences.
During the meeting, Day's father also inquired about the Grant County Board of Education's truancy policy, specifically asking whether the board would file truancy charges against his daughter or himself, according to the suit.
Day claims Weese assured him that they did not have to worry about truancy charges, as the board was aware of Day's condition.
In mid-December, Day met with Jeannie Bartmess, the high school guidance counselor, and was instructed by Bartmess that she needed to attend school and Day explained that her diabetic condition sometimes prevented her from attending, according to the suit.
Day claims she was then informed by Bartmess that the board would not accept any further parental excuses for school absences and that any future absences would be counted as unexcused.
On April 9, Deborah Mohr, the attendance director at the high school, obtained a criminal complaint against Day for truancy and on April 16, the sheriff served Day with a warrant for her arrest.
Day claims she appeared in magistrate court the following day and on May 26, the prosecuting attorney filed a motion to dismiss the truancy charge, which was granted.
The defendant failed to comply with the requirements of West Virginia code and refused to facilitate a meeting with Day to determine the cause of her school absences, according to the suit.
Day is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Jared T. Moore of the Moore Law Firm PLLC.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Lynn A. Nelson.
Grant Circuit Court case number: 15-C-25