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Mother Billed After Student Writes On Wall

Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 02, 2016

A Maury County mom was charged nearly a thousand dollars after her special needs daughter used a permanent marker on the wall of her school.

It happened nearly two weeks ago at E.A. Cox Middle School in Maury County when 13-year-old special needs student, Demonica Radley, marked a line with a permanent marker through a wall mural.

Her mother, Christy Leach, was immediately called to pick her up from school but she was also handed a bill for $879.77.

More than $700 of the bill was for three days of labor to clean the mural. The student was also suspended from school for 15 days and given a juvenile petition form. 

"I had it in my hand and I was going across the wall but I didn't know I was writing on there until my friend said something,” said Demonica.

Christy said the bill was extremely excessive, and she couldn’t afford to pay it, but she said it pointed to a larger problem. She believed the school wants Damonica gone.  

Her mother admitted her child has had a history of behavior issues at the school, from skipping class, to arriving late, to breaking the dress code.

Yet, as a special needs student, Leach felt her daughter has been discriminated against, since the teachers would rather not work with her.

"Not only does she need to be in school, she's already behind, and when and child gets behind and it takes them awhile to catch up, they're more likely to drop out of school,” said Leach.

She was concerned the school and the district have given up on her daughter. One assessment said Damonica has, “the inability to learn.”

Christy has hired a lawyer and was considering legal action. She has also scheduled a meeting later this month with school administrators to discuss whether or not to permanently place Damonica in alternative school.