School deregisters girl whose disability led to numerous absences

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A father who found out his daughter is no longer registered as a student at her school after a medical disability forced her to have multiple absences is fighting back.

Chloe Castellano, 16, was a student at Connetquot High School until the district recently dropped the 11th-grader because of excessive absences.

Her father, Darren Mazzarella, says Chloe has a diagnosed medical disability. She gets blinding, debilitating migraines that cause her to throw up. She does miss a lot of school but says she's been doing her best to keep up with the work.

Chloe has what's known as a 504 plan in place. It's part of a federal civil rights law that means she's entitled to accommodations in school, including sitting up front, extra time for assignments and home tutoring. But Chloe and her father say the school district has repeatedly and deliberately ignored it.

Mazzarella says the plan even addresses the potential for excessive absences. He's in the process of getting Chloe re-enrolled as a student. But he says he's worried that he'll just keep having the same problems.

The district says it won't comment on private student matters.

Mazzarella says he's already contacted the U.S. Department of Education and will file an appeal with the state Education Department as well. If none of that works, he would consider filing a lawsuit against the school district.

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