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Special ed teacher speaks up for students and faces retaliation

One special education attorney has brought a federal lawsuit against a school district due to retaliation he faced after trying to raise awareness concerning special education issues.  He felt that his students suffering with disabilities were discriminated against.  However, after trying to advocate for these children he claimed that his rights were violated as he faced retaliation from the school district.

The teacher noticed that certain of his students were not registered for specific vocational classes as they had been the prior year.  He also noticed that other students from the school had no problems in registering for these courses.  After bringing this to the attention of the principal the teacher claimed he was transferred out of the school.

The teacher was quoted as saying: “I would like for the students to have equal access to the program." The teacher's attorney claimed the timing of the transference raises suspicions. Among other things, the attorney specifically pointed to the possibility that the anti-retaliation provision of the American with Disabilities Act was violated.

While we are dealing here with an employment claim rather than an issue raised by a parent where it concerned the education of a child requiring specific special education needs, this matter does demonstrate the obstacles that school districts can put in place of children receiving the education that they require. Schools are required under federal law to provide both services and accommodations for children with learning disabilities. Vocational classes can be a part of the needed services as well.

As attorneys we attempt to speak up for these children and their parents when they are not receiving the education required by law. Unfortunately, there are not enough individuals in the school system that will speak up for these children.

Source: WSB-TV, "Special Ed teacher says he was harassed, retaliated against over disabled students," Rachel Stockman, April 15, 2014

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