School Settles Suit For Inappropriate Segregation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 26, 2003
BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA--The parents of a 17-year-old student with disabilities have received a $150,000 payment from his school to settle a federal lawsuit claiming he was inappropriately segregated from other students.
The Liberty High School board approved the payment Monday that was voted on during a closed session January 13.
The lawsuit, filed in 2000, claimed that the Bethlehem Area School District denied the student his right to a free public education.
The high school senior, who was not named to protect his privacy, was diagnosed with a number of disabilities including Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder and autism, according to the Express-Times.
His parents contend that their son attended mainstream classes through the 6th grade, but that his behavior problems increased while he was in 8th grade. He was placed in a partial hospitalization program, which his parents said was not appropriate. They claimed the school did not allow him to have contact with the general student population and that he was provided segregated busing, lunches, physical education and art class.
The paper noted that this school year, the student was placed in a mainstream curriculum program with one period per day during which he receives assistance with organization and social skills.