Education: Was the Kid Too Smart to Learn?

Schoolboard vs. gifted child

From the day he entered first grade, blue-eyed Tommy Irwin was called a "behavior problem"-a disobedient pupil who did shoddy work. But after his third-grade teacher told the Irwins that their son had a "learning disability," they hired an educational psychologist who tested Tommy. The conclusion: Tommy was not too slow but too quick for the classroom routine. His IQ was a very elevated 169. "He was frustrated and bored to tears," observes his father, Attorney Ronald Irwin. Now the Irwins are suing Illinois' McHenry County School District for damages of $1 million, seeking a legal precedent that...

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