Last month, parents of a special needs student filed a lawsuit against their daughter’s high school for mistreatment by the special education teacher.
Their daughter attended special education classes during the 2015-2016 school year, where she was cared for primarily by the special education teacher. In the lawsuit, the parents argue that the teacher mistreated their daughter over the course of the year and later, after the teacher returned from a leave of absence.
Their daughter, anonymously named Janie Doe in the lawsuit, has experienced severe learning disabilities since birth. Additionally, she experiences severe vision impairment and is non-verbal.
One of the primary complaints in the lawsuit is that the teacher frequently placed Miss Doe in timeout and seclusion rooms without just cause. The parents contend these rooms are meant for violent students and believe the teacher using disproportionate discipline on their daughter for her non-verbal reactions. The parents argue that their daughter’s loud reactions are part of her non-verbal communication style, but that she is not a violent person.
Additionally, Miss Doe also suffered a large bruise on her back. Her teacher said the bruise occurred when he was changing her diaper and she hit her back against her stroller. He also stated her shirt was off when the incident occurred. Miss Doe’s parents argue that a male teacher should not be changing their daughter’s diaper, nor should a male teacher remove their daughter’s shirt.
The Does have brought multiple claims against the school district claiming that it failed to take their complaints seriously and take appropriate action. They are seeking damages for severe emotional distress, breach of duty and negligence, as well as attorney’s fees and costs.
Special education students should never have to tolerate unjust treatment. If your child is a victim of mistreatment at school, there may be legal remedies available. Discussing the case with an attorney can help you assess your options.