I am Katy, class of '08 at Worcester Academy. I am struggling with an addictive disorder called self injury, specifically cutting. Apparently my school's health team had a policy that says that no one with these problems would be allowed in their community (at the top of this policy read "Revised 2005") . Please give me support in my fight against my school, as this is an overwhelming strain on my life.

Below is something I wrote to vent my anger, and I believe that it summarizes most of what has happened.

Honor student with anxiety disorders is pressured beyond belief to stop a self destructive behavior that is addictive and has taken other victims of the behavior years in Psych. hospitals or an entire lifetime in therapy to purge. With all this recovery information available to the faculty simply by a Google search, they insisted the student stop the behavior in a matter of months, with a penalty of dismissal if this unreasonable expectation was not met. Since this student has anxiety disorders, this intrusive attempt by the school to stop her self injury make the summer restless, and the problem itself indescribably worse. The student was forced to register at another school and is at the moment trying to make a hard decision whether or not to switch to another school that actually cares about their students well being. Since big decisions are hard for her, being an avoidant, anxious, and mildly obsessive compulsive person who did not want to change her routine, she sought answers from the school's faculty that had forced this burden on her. Instead of being accessible as the head counselor as had been promised to the student, she was nowhere to be found. The faculty member who had written the ultimatum-based letter home had talked to the student briefly after the student called each and every day trying to get a hold of him. This important school faculty member promised to get a hold of the head counselor and would get back to the student, only to never get a hold of the counselor and never to call back the anxious and fading student. To top this contradictory action to their promise to "Achieve the Honorable", this member of the "caring faculty" left for vacation, leaving the student betrayed. The student had written a tell-all e-mail to the head counselor which in the students mind was as important as asking for a life-raft while drowning, since she always had trouble asking for help. It has been more than a month from this day that the e-mail was written and sent, and there has been no reply. One must assume that she never bothered to check her e-mail. The fact that the school server has been down for more than a week has not helped the matter. The faculty insisted that their reasoning for this inconvenience was not send the message to the outside world as "happy in this wonderful environment, good evening prospective students", but that they did not want her problem to interfere with her academics and school activities. All the while knowing that this student was on the honor roll consistently and even was on the Headmaster's List one term, a notable achevement..perhaps even an "Honorable" one. The student was also in the musical and plays at the school, and was even on the Varsity Tennis Team, one of only two new student selected that year. Clearly this self-destructive behavior, which has been in her life much longer than the school was aware of it, did not compromise her achievements at Worcester Academy. She complied with their rules to go to the counselor whenever asked and be checked by the school nurse. She is getting treatment by an able therapist and went to get her medication ensured. The student worked very hard to follow all the school guidelines and expectations. She exceeded average in her academics. Why is she being put in such a hurtful position that does not seem to be justified?

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Margaret VaughanBy:
City LifeIn:
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Worcester Academy


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