Student with ADHD claims teacher fostering harassment

CLINTON, Mo. - Thirteen-year-old Christopher Riley of Clinton, Mo., loves to read, but he said he feels the opposite about science. He said his teacher is part of the reason.

Riley claims, on Dec. 15, the Clinton Middle School teacher encouraged harassment in the classroom after a disruption.

"Said I needed to stop being stupid and not act like a first grader," said Riley.

Riley said a classmate encouraged other students to raise their hands if they thought he was acting like a first grader.

"He just allowed it and afterward he asked if I thought that they were... if the class thought I was," said Riley.

Riley has ADHD and lags behind his classmates in social skills. His mother acknowledges he can be a handful.

"I know that Chris is a difficult child to deal with and particularly in a situation where a teacher's trying to maintain a total classroom," said Teresa Porter.

But she said, Christopher's actions do not justify the teacher's alleged response. Porter said she prepared all of her son's teachers for his behavior and that Christopher even has a learning plan, specifically pointing out his struggles.

"They should be helping the kids, not tearing them down," said Porter.

Clinton superintendent Dr. Craig Eaton said the district is investigating Porter's grievance and takes any allegation of discrimination and harassment seriously. He says the teacher has no history of these accusations.

"I feel like it's detrimental to his mental and emotional health and I just don't want him in there," said Porter.

Porter and the district have less than two weeks to find a solution. Christopher has been studying science independently since the incident. For the upcoming second semester, Porter said the district has suggested Christopher take an online science course, which would cost her $300. She said it's up to the district to come up with a solution with its own money.

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