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Archive for November, 2012

School District must defend Section 504 claim of discrimination based on unaddressed reports of peer harassment

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

M.S. v. Marple Newtown Sch. Dist., 59 IDELR 186 (E.D. Pa. 2012)—the court denied the school district’s motion to dismiss because it found that the parent sufficiently plead viable claims for disability discrimination. When M.S. was in eighth grade, her sister was molested by B.C. who lived near her family. M.S. was placed in the same class as B.C.’s brother, J.C., despite M.S.’s mother’s request to separate the students. M.S. was placed in the same class as J.C. again during her tenth grade year and again during her eleventh grade year. M.S. was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and the school counselor recommended that M.S. and J.C. be put in separate classes, but the school district did not place the students in different classrooms. M.S. enrolled in a vocational program to get away from J.C.’s staring, leering and other disruptive behavior. M.S.’s mother filed discrimination complaints against the school and the court found the complaint sufficiently stated a claim for discrimination based on disability. The parent also alleged sufficient facts to state a claim for retaliation by the school against M.S.

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