[caption id="attachment_69342" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Jensvold had become increasingly strained by anguished fights with the county public school system over the special-needs education of her son."][/caption]

Ben Barnhard had reason to be optimistic this summer: The 13-year-old shed more than 100 pounds at a rigorous weight-loss academy, a proud achievement for a boy who had endured classmates' taunts about his obesity and who had sought solace in the quiet of his bedroom, with his pet black cat and the intricate origami designs he created.

But one month before school was to start...

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