In 1975, Congress made it possible for students with severe disabilities to get a “free and appropriate education.” In 1990, that law was expanded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which required public schools to meet the educational needs of disabled students.
Some of our California readers may remember a time when what you said outside of the classroom had no bearing on your ability to continue going to school. But now with advancements in technology and social media, it seems like many school districts across the nation are extending their reach a little far, perhaps even encroaching on a student’s right to freedom of speech as well.
An out-of-state matter against one school district has been ongoing for close to four years. A lawsuit was filed against schools for not catering to the needs of disabled children. This would include students suffering from autism, bipolar disorder and hyperactivity. Attorneys on both sides decided to meet in an attempt to reach a compromise.
A state-mandated accountability plan is aimed to assist Palo Alto students with specific needs. The Local Control Accountability Plan was put in place for distributing money by the state.
It's unfortunate that mistreatment of special education students occurs at all. However, it's even more disconcerting when the mistreatment occurred at the hands of school staff.
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.
There has been an ongoing lawsuit concerning layoffs of teachers in a number of low-income middle schools in Los Angeles Unified School District that has just been settled. The so-called churning of teachers was said to be responsible for instability within the school district. It has also been believed that higher rates of retention and additional specialized training will prevent further layoffs from occurring.
It appears that school districts are often willing to spend a great deal of money in defending against education lawsuits. One such lawsuit involving an out-of-state school district's alleged failure to provide educational services for a deaf student has been fought for over four years. The lawsuit originally began in state court and looks like it will continue in federal court as well.
A federal lawsuit has been settled concerning one state's Department of Education oversight of special education needs of particular students. The concern was the high level of segregation that occurred in that state's special education program.
One out-of-state school district is accused of destroying records concerning a special education student in an effort to keep information away from the family. This attempt is said to have cost taxpayers over $200,000. More importantly, issues as to whether the school district can be trusted have been raised.