Open Thread: A Case of School Phobia : The Bryant Park Project A Pennsylvania girl says she can't attend regular classes.
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Open Thread: A Case of School Phobia


At some point, most of us have hidden behind our parents at the classroom door. Rebecca Maykish, now 17, remembers her mother prying her off a banister at the age of five.

But for Maykish, of Palmerton, Pa., the terror never stopped. She was eventually diagnosed with school phobia, a condition that renders time in a classroom so miserable that she says she feels like she's having a heart attack.

Her family won a settlement from the district to pay for her public education. The Maykishes spent $45,000 special fund on what they call a variety of instructional and therapeutic expenses. Some of those expenses included summer camp and a modeling class, but mother Barbara Maykish says the idea was always to build stepping stones back to regular class. The saga gets complicated from there, but today the district is fining the family for Rebecca's truancy, and the family is seeking a civil rights lawyer.

And we're seeking your reaction. Ever heard of school phobia? Ever had it? Got an answer for this situation?