Ask the West Nodaway R-1 Board of Education to grant Camryn Brady's appeals to remain in the A+ Program and go on senior trip.

Camryn-Brandy-Senior-2023_22OCT22-194crop1.jpgCamryn is a senior at West Nodaway R-1 High School in Northwest Missouri. She has had to undergo four surgeries in the past four years. That is more than most people have in a lifetime. The summer right before her freshman year, we took her to the E.R. with intense pain in her lower right side. We assumed it was her appendix but instead they had to do an emergency surgery to remove a softball sized cyst that was attached to her fallopian tube and filled with blood. It was twisting the fallopian tube and cutting off blood flow to the ovary. The doctor also drained several other smaller cysts.

Camryn has also struggled with pretty severe allergies her entire life. She is on several allergy medications however she still has constant drainage. After fighting tonsil stones and tonsilitis for several months, she was referred to an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor who took one look in her throat and couldn’t believe she still had such damaged tonsils. They had to come out. He was also adamant that because she was older, she would be in “excruciating pain” and would need to miss two weeks of school. We contacted the principal at the time who was very understanding. He replied that when she felt able to come to school, she would just need to bring a doctor’s note so he could “officially excuse her absences.” Unfortunately, he did not remain the principal that school year. The superintendent who took over refused to accept anything as “excused” absences.

Shortly after her tonsil surgery the pain in her lower right abdomen came back. The original doctor was no longer at Mosaic. She had another surgery and another cyst was identified but not removed. This new doctor didn’t think it was the issue. Because she was still having additional pain, she was referred to a G.I. specialist. After some testing we found that she was allergic to wheat, soy, nuts, and shrimp. She had been eating a peanut butter sandwich every day for lunch since kindergarten. The allergy was not enough to require an epinephrine pen but instead it had slowly cause inflammation to build up in her body. The inflammation had not only caused cramping in her intestine but also joint pain, and unstable insulin levels. The doctors had kept telling her she needed to exercise more and eat less, but I knew what she ate and she wanted to move more but the joint pain made it difficult many days. Plus all of this made her feel like no one believed her pain. Removing the allergens helped with the gut pain but she is still working to get her insulin under control.

At the start of her senior year she again started having pain in her lower right side. The doctor said it could not be the cyst since they had done surgery the previous December. For weeks she had pains so severe that she felt dizzy and nauseous. She couldn’t concentrate at school and the pains kept increasing in frequency. Finally, she was sent for ultrasounds and blood tests. The ultrasounds showed the cyst. They still did not believe that could be the cause of her pains. We were told to take her to the E.R. if the pain got worse. We ended up in the E.R. where they did a CT scan. The only thing all of the tests showed was the cyst. We finally got the doctor to meet with us. Camryn was forced to cry and demand that she do surgery and remove the cyst. The doctor wanted her to go to pain management therapy but agreed to do the surgery. Up until the moment they took her back to the operating room the doctor told her that she did not believe the surgery would help her pain. Very shortly after they took her back for surgery Troy and I got a call from the doctor. She explained that what they found was much worse than she had predicted. Camryn had been right the whole time. The cyst was much larger (closer to the size of a chicken egg). This one was also very thick walled and harder to drain and remove. The worst part was that her fallopian tube was wrapped around it in a way that made it impossible to save. Camryn still has pains due to the scarring that was left behind but much of the severe pain is gone. We will never know if they had listened to her sooner if ther fallopian tube could have been saved. 

Camryn’s last surgery was on October 26, 2022. The same day we received an email from the school counselor stating that due to absences she could no longer participate in the A+ program but she could ask for an appeal. So, she had not even come out of surgery and she was already being punished for missing school. The appeal form clearly listed surgeries and "periods when the student was confined to hospital or home for recovery" as possibilities for appeal so we tried not to worry. Camryn immediately got to work filling out the required documentation before she even returned to school.

When she returned, she was not asked how she was doing, instead she received another email. This one from her class sponsor saying that due to her absences her junior and senior year she was ineligible to go on senior trip. She again was given the option to appeal. Keep in mind she has met all other requirements to go on senior trip and participate in the A+ program which would earn her a scholarship for college.

Through all of this Camryn is:

·       National Honor Society president.

·       FBLA president.

·       class secretary.

·       co-editor of the yearbook.

AND

·       Has remained on regular or high honor roll.

·       Was voted by the teachers to receive the DAR good citizen award for the senior class.

·       Has been active in the play.

·       Placed 3rd in Organizational Leadership at District FBLA contest.

·       Received multiple awards for proficient and advanced EOC scores.

·       Served on student council for three years.

·       Participated in every fundraiser.

·       Worked more than the required number of concession stands.

·       Has never received a discipline referral.

Additionally, we supplied documentation from her doctors for her missed days for pre-operative visits, surgeries, recoveries, and post-operative check-ups. Yet, the attendance committee, administration, and West Nodaway Board of Education chose not to grant her appeals. Camryn has worked hard to get to this point in her high school career and all of her efforts are being ignored while focusing on her absences, which were something she had no control over. We can’t understand how these people could look at all of the documentation including a letter of recommendation from her supervising A+ teacher and choose to deny her requests but here we are.

So, we are asking that you show Camryn your support by signing this petition asking the West Nodaway R-1 Board of Education to do the right thing, the compassionate thing and grant her appeals.

Ideally, the Board would also review the current attendance policy and add clauses that specify that verified absences cannot be used negatively when figuring a student’s attendance percentages so no other student is punished for things they can't control. A number of incentives and awards include attendance percentages along with other qualifications including

·       the A+ program.

·       specific attendance incentives (page 9).

·       non-requirement of semester finals (page 9).

·       Honors diploma (page 10).

·       Principal’s Award (page 10).

·       Senior trip (page 18).

The page numbers indicate where in the Student Handbook those are listed. The absence policy can be found on page 8 where it lists surgeries as a verified absence. Then below that gives instructions on what to do upon return from “an excused absence.” Which one might logically interpret to mean that verified absences are excused. Here is a link to the handbook for anyone who would like to review it.

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1065/West_Nodaway/2416591/West_Nodaway_MS_HS_Handbook__2022-2023_Mitch.pdf

Thank you for taking the time to read Camryn’s petition. We appreciate your support.

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