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I live outside of Kansas City, Missouri. In 2009, I enrolled

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I live outside of Kansas City, Missouri. In 2009, I enrolled my then 3 year old at a private school called The Barstow School in Kansas City, MO. At the time, we were just beginning to seek professional opinions regarding some behavioral issues my son was having. I had stated this on our application and was told that Barstow would be perfect for him because it would really stimulate his mind and keep him busy. I was assured that they had the best teachers, the best resources...the best everything. Their annual tuition was over $11,000. I paid half up front and financed the rest to be due Jan 1, 2010. We did sign a contract stating that if we withdrew him for any reason aside from medical that we would be liable to pay the difference. It also clarified that medical did not include behavioral or mental problems. In addition to our situation, the regular preschool teacher was out on medical leave and we had a substitute who taught all grades in her career, but not preschool specifically. So, anyway, our son had behavioral problems and we were asked not to bring him back for over a week while they decided what to do. At that time, they recommended that we find another educational alternative for him and that I needed to decide who I was doing this (Barstow) or my son (I am assuming comment was made because Barstow is prestigious and mostly has wealthy families) I asked if I would receive a refund and they said no, in fact I owe the rest of the school years tuition. I stated that if I am paying for the education then I am staying at the school. They only let us back part time and excluded us from all parties and field trips. finally at Christmas break (as I was also dealing with the death of my mother) we were told it wasn't working out and mutually decided to end our educational arrangement. Except that they want the second semester tuition. I am refusing to pay I have any legal recourse and can they do this?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

It sounds to me like they are reaching, especially since they promised, in effect, a solution to your son's behavioral issues and THEN offered a substitute teacher (checking on her background and credentials would be helpful to your case, too).

What you are essentially saying and trying to establish is that they broke their contract with you. They knew of your son's problems prior to admission and then offered a substitute teacher and eventually an expulsion.

In my view, you ought not be liable for the next semester's tuition. Missouri has good consumer protection laws. If they persist, I suggest you make a complaint with the Missouri Consumer Protection Division with the Missouri Attorney General's Office. If that does not work, you'll need to hire an attorney. They will have to make the first move, so you'll want a good civil defense attorney if it comes to that.

I will be happy to follow up with you if you have additional questions. In the meantime, please click ACCEPT so that I can get credit for answering your question.


Nathan Moore
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