Fay accused of retaliating against family suing school; Q&A with mother

by beth on March 11, 2016

As I’ve previously posted, Fay School is the defendant in a Federal lawsuit. Backed by a physician’s diagnoses, parents of a 12 year old student (named G in the lawsuit) have claimed that the school’s strong wifi signals cause their son physical harm.

At root of the issue is the boy’s diagnosis as suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).

Between the controversial nature of the syndrome, and the size of the $250,000 suit, the family has been attacked by commenters on the blog. Meanwhile, the lawsuit, amended through a January filing, alleges that the school has unfairly discriminated and retaliated against the student and family.

I shared media coverage of the court filing in January. But it didn’t include the full scope of complaints. The mother of G reached out to me to share the allegations and her family’s story with readers.

(Fay School had no comment for this story beyond their statement issued last August. That statement does not respond to the more recent allegations.)

As previously reported, the school and parents were not able to come to agreement on accommodating G’s hypersensitivity in classrooms. That led to G working from home, while still a Fay student. Since then, the family claims G was unfairly discriminated against to the point that they had to enroll him in another school for the interim.

The administration barred G from campus for any reason even for activities that do not expose him to Wi-Fi. That includes sports, which he loves, and which allowed social time he missed with peers. His mother claims the school didn’t given them any justification for the ban.

Fay had warned that G would have to stay current with his course work from home. But his parents claim that Fay interfered with their efforts. That includes refusing:

  • Any contact between parents and teachers on lessons being taught
  • Communication between teachers and a tutor on lesson plans
  • Recording of class lessons or skyping of classes (at parents’ expense)

As for the underlying reasons for the suit, the complaint claims that under the American Disabilities Act, Fay should be working towards “reasonable accomodation to his EHS, if doing
so can be accomplished without disrupting Fay’s program or academic standards.” It’s something they allege the school hasn’t done:

G’s Mother and Father have offered to work with Fay, even at their own expense, to examine the classroom Wi-Fi system, and to attempt installation of a reasonable alternative to their industrial capacity Wi-Fi for use when G is in attendance. Fay has refused to do anything meaningful and has ignored measurements, other data, and medical and other reports supporting the need to make an accommodation.

Recognizing that readers are skeptical of the suit and syndrome, I asked “Mother of G” to explain or defend likely questions. You can see the full Q&A here.

But here are some highlights:

Parents hope to prevail in court in a way that would reduce their claim of damages, currently listed at $250,000:

if we prevail at the trial on our injunction request that will mean the school will be ordered to have fixed the problem so that our child can return to Fay. If this happens our damages will be less because our child will return to finish the program we have paid dearly for over the last seven years.

Their stated goal:

that the school will fully address the issues that have come to light before more children become sensitized and severely impacted. This technology is relatively new and we are just beginning to understand the many possible impacts both in-terms of the positive benefits of technology use and the very serious negative impacts overexposure can have.

Also worth noting:

  • G was experiencing and describing symptoms before having any idea wifi could be a cause
  • Data collected and analyzed showed “startling connection” that his symptoms coincided with wifi exposure peaks
  • The family “made every effort” to resolve issues without a lawsuit

Mother of G also provided relevant research papers and news stories on EHS for those who want to learn more. Those links are included in the Q&A.

Here is the January request to the court to amend the filed complaint. (I’ve been told that was approved by the judge.) And here is the amended motion as proposed.

1 M March 13, 2016 at 7:10 PM

Well we should just wait and see what the court says next. If this is LEGALLY not recognized as a disability at this time, despite the research the mother provides, then LEGALLY the school is NOT responsible. And if this were my child there for seven years and I felt he was being impacted in his health, his social interactions, and his academics, I would have looked for a school that already accomodates the EHS child. Seven years. So he is an upper schooler and could transfer to a school in the 6-9 grades which is not an abonormal transition period. The stress of this lawsuit must weigh heavily on that child. My feeling is that the family should ask for a settlement that recoups the tuition paid from the time the first symptoms were connected to EHS and the school was notified. Period. Then move on. Whether you win this lawsuit or not, your child is adversely affected every day that you continue this pursuit. Work to educate the State Legislature about EHS, instead–a laudable goal. The lawsuit makes you appear less sympathetic, whether you like it or not.

2 National Association for Children and Safe Technology March 27, 2016 at 1:28 PM

EHS is a recognized disability under the American’s With Disabilities Act. Please consider that when schools install commercial grade wireless networks, their facilities become inaccessible to a growing population of citizens who suffer from EHS – this includes children and teachers.

USA, United States Access Board
http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/background/ada-accessibility-guidelines-for-recreation-facilities/general-issues
“The Board recognizes that multiple chemical sensitivities and electromagnetic sensitivities may be considered disabilities under the ADA if they so severely impair the neurological, respiratory or other functions of an individual that it substantially limits one or more of the individual’s major life activities. The Board plans to closely examine the needs of this population, and undertake activities that address accessibility issues for these individuals”.

3 Steve Runner August 26, 2016 at 4:49 PM

This is silly. The child “G” is not suffering from EHS. This is a case of a “quack doctor” by the name of Jeane Hubbuch, she uses functional medicine, biologic medicine, chelation, orthomolecular medicine, intestinal balancing, saunas, IV nutrients, complex homeopathy, supplements and enzymes, connection of illness to dental amalgams and root canals, high-dose vitamin C, alkaline IVs and an alkaline diet, and immune support for cancer patients with high-dose vitamin C, iscadore/mistletoe, curcumin, bitter melon, and pectasol C. She uses Heart Rate Variability testing and live cell analysis, promises to remove toxins and blockages, and claims that she deals with the underlying causes of illness instead of symptoms.

THIS is all quackery, as is her diagnosis of “G”.

The overwhelming evidence provided by science proves that EHS is not a “real” illness, instead: when a “doctor” tells you that WiFi is hurting you…and you’re not very smart, you will THINK that is the cause.

Please take the time to read the abstract of a study titled “A cognitive-behavioral treatment of patients suffering from “electric hypersensitivity”. Subjective effects and reactions in a double-blind provocation study” – by Andersson, Berg, Arnetz, Melin, Langlet, and Lidén.

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