Class Action Settlement with NYC DOE - Discipline of Students with Disabilities

As many of you know, my practice includes the representation of children with disabilities who have been suspended. You would find it hard to believe how frequently NYC DOE suspends students with disabilities for behavior that is only a "manifestation" of their disability. My practice has advocated for one particular little boy, age 7, who has been routinely suspended by his principal for "bad" behavior and has sought to circumvent his pendency entitlements to "stay put" by suspending him and sending him to an alternate site, without fulfilling his mandated IEP services.  Needless to say, we are pursuing this boy's due process entitlements.

It is with sheer delight that I share with you that recently, Advocates for Children announced a settlement with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) in a class action lawsuit on behalf of students with disabilities who are subject to disciplinary action while in City public schools.
 
The class action, E.B. v. New York City Department of Education, includes students with disabilities in New York City public schools from kindergarten through age 21. As part of the settlement, the DOE has agreed to procedures to ensure that schools are not suspending students with disabilities for behavior associated with the student’s disability and to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate instruction while suspended. The DOE also agreed to procedures to prevent schools from discharging or transferring from school students with disabilities for disciplinary reasons. There will be a hearing for final approval of the settlement on July 23, 2015.
 
If you are or were a NYC public school student with a disability, or are the parent/guardian of a student with disability, and you/your child were removed from class, suspended, discharged, or transferred out of a NYC public school for disciplinary reasons, your rights may be affected! For more information, read the settlement notice to class members and see the settlement agreement. If you have questions, call me or Advocates for Children directly at 973-878-4559 or email ebsettlement@gmail.com.