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Migraine Pearls or Onions? 3/16/11

PearlsOrOnions125 When it comes to online Migraine information, the quality of what we find has quite a wide range. It can be bright, polished, and valuable, or it can be... well, rough and stinky.

This feature, "Migraine Pearls or Onions?," highlights both the Migraine Pearls I come across online and the stinky Migraine Onions.

Today's Migraine Pearl and Onion came from the same incident, a 12-year-old Texas student who went to the school nurse because she didn't feel well and ended up suspended from school and orderd to attend an alternative school for 30 days for illegal drug use.

On February 21 of this year, Aliah Rowe went to school despite not having felt well for a few days. She had a headache and stomach ache. By mid-morning, she felt bad enough that she went to see the school nurse. Here's an abbreviated version of what happened. The nurse thought Aliah looked and behaved as if she'd used a drug or alcohol, so she called in a sheriff's deputy who was the school police liason. Without contacting Aliah's parents, they then conducted field sobriety tests, called in the school counselor, and accused Aliah of drug use.  At that point, Aliah's mother was called, and she took her from the school to a local hospital where she had Aliah's blood and unine tested for drugs and alcohol.

The school district suspended Aliah from school for three days and ordered her to attend the Texas City school district's alternative learning campus for 30 days. Aliah and her mother appealed this decision twice. Both times, they submitted the negative results of the drug testing as well as a statement from a doctor stating that Aliah's headaches may have been Migraines and that Migraines could have cause the symptoms and behavior that the nurse and deputy observed. Both appeals were denied.

Yesterday, saying only that they'd received "new information," school district officials announced that they'd reversed their decision, and Aliah will be allowed to return to her regular school on Monday when students return from spring break. You can read more details of this incident in Texas School Suspends, Punishes Student for Migraine.

Pearl100 So, first's Migraine Pearl... today's pearl goes to:

  • Aliah's mother, Cynthia Murray;
  • Dr. Rayne Rouce, the doctor who examined Aliah and wrote to the school district;
  • T. J. Aulds of the Galveston County Daily News, whose comprehensive reports on this incident may be responsible for the reversal of the school district's decision;
  • and everyone else who supported Aliah through this ordeal.

Onion100 And, today's Migraine Onion. Today's onion, of course, goes to:

  • the school nurse at Blocker Middle School in Texas City,
  • the sheriff's deputy who responded to her call and treated this student so poorly,
  • the school counselor, and all of the school district officials who played a part in this fiasco.

What happend on February 21 when Aliah went to the nurse's office was bad enough. Yet school officials made matters even worse by refusing to accept the negative results of the drug testing that was performed and the word of the doctor who examined Aliah.

The stigma associated with Migraine disease is strenghtened when such indicents occur. These school officials owe Aliah a huge apology.

If you'd like to make a suggestion for a
Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion,
please leave me a comment!

Live well,



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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated March 16, 2011

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