ADHD and ODD are "merely" disorders

My 12 year old son was removed from his public school for a 45-day "evaluation" at the end of last year. The reason? According to the school, he had been suspended for more than 10 days, which prompted a manifestation determination hearing. At this meeting, they deemed his ADHD and ODD to be merely disorders, not disabilities. My son suffered through a terrible year prior to that point. His math teacher called him dumb, the school social worker told him he was the rudest child she'd ever encountered in her 32 years on the job and told him he was bordering on being a sociopath, and the principal went class to class to ask my son's peers for information on any improper behavior they had witnessed from him. That same day, they held my son in a room for three hours with four adults while they made him write his explanation for the behavior the students accused him of (up to and including the accusation that he brought a substantial amount of cocaine to school...as I pointed out to them, he was required to bring in 2 cups of granulated sugar for a science project on rock candy).

On the day they removed him from the school, the SPED director had said he could remain on site for the 45-day evaluation, in a sub-seperate setting. When the principal entered the meeting late, he overruled that decision, stating that he was the "captain of the ship" and he had final say. Our advocate told him he was acting in a detrimental way toward my son. She said "I hope you sleep well tonight." His response? "Don't worry, I will."

After two months at home (with roughly four hours of tutoring a week) we placed our son in a therapeutic day program 45 minutes away from home. After his first week there, he came home one day and said "I'm finally at a school where I don't get in trouble just for being me."