Crime & Courts

Mom sues Derby schools over son not making band

Derby Republican Joan Heffington ran for governor in 2010 against U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback.
Derby Republican Joan Heffington ran for governor in 2010 against U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback.

Joan Heffington, who has run for governor and was taken to court by the attorney general, is suing Derby Public Schools because her son was cut from the marching band.

Heffington said in a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court that her 17-year-old son is being denied his right to an education. She claims her son has special needs and Derby has not given him accommodations as required by law.

The focus of the lawsuit is Heffington's son, a trombone player who was cut from the marching band. Heffington is also suing Derby superintendent Craig Wilford and band director Adam DeVault.

Derby attorney Jeff Griffith and his law firm are also being sued, after he represented the school district in a similar suit filed by Heffington in 2007. A judge dismissed that suit a year later.

"The district has just received the lawsuit and is considering the appropriate response, and I am considering the appropriate response," Griffith said.

Defendants have 21 days from being served with a lawsuit to respond in federal court.

Heffington is representing herself.

In December, a Sedgwick County district judge fined Heffington $100,000 for practicing law without a license.

Heffington runs a web site called the Association for Honest Attorneys (AHA). Last year, the Kansas Attorney General's office sued Heffington, claiming she provided legal advice in exchange for donations. A judge found 19 instances of violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act.

As a candidate for governor running on legal reform, Heffington received 18 percent of the vote in the Aug. 3 primary election against eventual governor Sam Brownback.

Joan Heffington’s lawsuit against the Derby Schools for cutting her son from the marching band:

Heffington v. USD 260

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