Lawsuit: Washington Failing to Teach Special-ed Students
SEATTLE (AP) — A lawsuit from the Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union accuses the state of failing to ensure that students with behavioral disabilities get an education instead of just kicked out of school.
The complaint, filed Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court, says the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has a duty to ensure that all children receive a public education, including those who have behavioral problems related to conditions such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or Asperger's syndrome.
Instead, the lawsuit says, districts across the state suspend and expel special-education students at more than twice the rate of their peers.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of special-education students in the Yakima and Pasco school districts. The ACLU says those districts suspend or expel special-education students at especially high rates.
OSPI and the Yakima and Pasco districts did not immediately return messages seeking comment.